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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chew on This | Butternut Squash Lasagna

The Husband was away for a big business meeting a few weeks ago and one evening, after he bid goodnight to the kids and they were tucked into bed, we chatted away aimlessly on the phone. We delved more deeply into the intricacies of his day, and mine. We retold all of the interesting and the mundane details. Then we talked food.

What did he have for dinner? Broiled Mahi Mahi with haricot vert. Um, yum. Lucky! He said it was so delicious. And he's not even a big fish eater. 

Then he asked what we had had for dinner. And boy did I lay it on thick. 

We had roasted, sweet and tender butternut squash layered between whole wheat lasagna noodles with a creamy parmesan sage sauce. Spring salad with goat cheese and balsamic. Crusty French bread with sweet butter.

That's right, eat your heart out babe!

I don't think he was too jealous, at the time. He tummy was too full of Mahi goodness. However, this dreamy lasagna was requested this week and I was more than happy to oblige. 

Here's our recipe:

Butternut Squash Lasagna

2 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2-3 T olive oil
1 heaping t kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375℉. 

To start, you'll need to roast your squash. Cut ends off of your squash and peel rinds. Slice each 
squash in half, remove seeds and cut into small cubes. You should have about 4-6 cups of cubed squash, depending on the size of your squash. 

Placed cubed squash on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, toss the squash to coat evenly. Place cookie sheet into the preheated oven and roast your squash for about 30-40 minutes, or until soft on the inside and a bit of a crust on the outside. Set aside until you're ready to assemble your lasagna.

2 T butter
1/4 heaping C of chopped, fresh sage
2 T flour
1 1/2 C milk
1 C heavy cream
1 C finely grated parmesan cheese (extra if you want to sprinkle the top of your lasagna)

While roasting your squash, make your sauce. 

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium to medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add your fresh sage. Stir sage and butter together, bruising the sage with your spoon to release more flavor. Sprinkle in your flour and mix thoroughly. While still stirring gently, allow the flour to cook and absorb the sage flavor, about 2 minutes. 

Slowly pour in your milk and heavy cream, whisking or stirring while doing so. Turn the heat up under the sauce pan, just a touch, to help the sauce to thicken. You're still stirring and not allowing the sauce to boil. One your sauce thickens (solidly coating the back of a spoon), remove pan from the heat and add your grated parmesan. Stir, stir, stir to melt the cheese and thoroughly incorporate your sauce. Set aside until you're ready to assemble your lasagna.

Oven ready lasagna sheets
lasagna pan (I used an 8x11" pan)

Preheat your oven to 350℉.

In the bottom of your pan, spread a thin layer of your sauce. Place oven ready noodles on top of the sauce. Layer on your roasted squash and then cover the squash with your sage sauce. Repeat. Your final noodle layer should be covered with your remaining sauce and sprinkled with any extra parmesan. 

Cover pan with foil and bake in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and finish baking lasagna uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes. Allow lasagna to cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

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