I am not a huge lasagna or butternut squash fan.
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
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 all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
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
- 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.