BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA

I am not a huge lasagna or butternut squash fan.

I always get tons of squashes in my weekly CSA box and other than soup, I’ve been a little fearful to try making much else with them.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found this recipe (courtesy Giada De Laurentiis) and saw that my kids (and their friends) couldn’t get enough of it.

This divine recipe, creates a supremely healthy and tasty lasagna, that is quite easy to make.

Thanks Giada – I’m going to be truly grateful to you for this one for a long, long time.








BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA

8 to 10 servings


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup water

3 amaretti cookies, crumbled (optional)

1/4-cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 1/2 cups whole milk

Pinch nutmeg

3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan







Method:
  • 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.


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



Cook’s Note: The no-boil lasagna noodles can be substituted with fresh spinach lasagna sheets. Look for fresh lasagna sheets in the refrigerated section of specialty markets.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

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