Blog | November 23, 2009

Staff Recipes: Butternut Squash Lasagna

JoannaThis Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe is a great addition to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The color is beautiful with the bright orange squash and green sauce separated by the pasta. I let the lasagna cool slightly and cut it into 2 inch squares to serve as a side dish. It’s surprisingly rich and adds wonderful flavor to the meal. This dish is perfect for leftovers as it is great reheated.

Here are some of my notes on the recipe:

  • I always buy local squash,and use more than the recipe calls for.
  • The amaretti cookies are not always easy to find, they are a key ingredient because of the flavor, I find them at Whole Foods market, I start to look for them in October and pick them up early!
  • I use a quality fresh prepared pasta.
  • I buy local organic milk and cheese.
  • Since I usually prepare this dish in the late fall, I need to purchase the local fresh basil from my local farm stand. I plan on trying to keep my basil plants growing in the house through the winter!

Butternut Squash Lasagna
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 Butternut squash (about 1 1/2 to 2-pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Water
3 Amaretti cookies, crumbled
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups Whole milk
Pinch Nutmeg
3/4 cup of Lightly-packed fresh basil leaves
12 No-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups Shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender. Add the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Lightly butter a 13-by-9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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