Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Lasagna is that “anytime, any place” sort of dish (word to Janet Jackson, though she wasn't referring to food). With vegetables in abundance during the colder season, it's not hard to nix the meat completely and opt for lighter, healthier options with just as much flavor. For me, wintertime means chunky sweaters, apple cider, dreading the cold, and meals that make me feel all warm and tingly inside. This is one such meal. A creamy sage-infused béchamel sauce replaces the standard ricotta mix found in most lasagna dishes and is combined with the earthy flavor of butternut squash to provide a truly special dish. You're going to want to throw some sage into the mix almost every time butternut squash is involved. Trust me on this one.

You're also going to want a nap after two servings, so plan for that as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (approximately 3 pounds) quartered, seeded, peeled, and diced into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch of sage, chiffonade
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 9 no boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg

Directions

1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.

2. Brush the butternut squash chunks with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven until tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic and sage until tender.

4. Sprinkle in the flour and mix while cooking until it is bubbling and a little browned.

5. Stir in the heavy cream and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and heat until it thickens. Remove from heat to cool.

6. Spread 1/2 cup of this béchamel sauce on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan.

7. Add a layer of 3 lasagna noodles.

8. Spread half of the butternut squash on top.

9. Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 parmesan on top.

10. Spread 1 cup of the béchamel sauce on top. Add second layer of 3 lasagna noodles and cheeses and save, ending final layer with béchamel on top.

11. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

12. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top and bubbling, about 30-45 minutes.

Makes 8 servings