Last week, my friend from high school, Jess, shared a butternut squash lasagna recipe with me. It took all of thirty seconds for me to turn to John and tell him I was making it the next weekend.
My biggest issue with lasagna is the massive quantity of cheese that usually accompanies it. I love cheese — adore it, can’t live without it — but let’s not pretend it’s healthy. And while we’re not pretending, who wants to substitute fat-free cheese that isn’t going to melt in their lasagna? Not this girl. Therefore, we don’t see too many lasagnas ’round these parts.
So yes, this recipe an indulgence, but it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds. And once in a while, a big slice of cheesey gooey wonderful lasagna ain’t bad. (If it helps, I substituted part-skim ricotta, which tastes just as good as the whole milk variety.)
The recipe below for the butternut squash filling is pretty basic. You could add any number of ingredients to the squash before puréeing it to enhance the flavors, though.
- Sautéed apples
- Roasted onions
- Crushed hazelnuts
- Additional herbs
… and if you use store-bought pasta, this comes together quickly. I apparently have to do things the hard way (which is usually the very tasty way), so I made a few sheets of fresh sage pasta. Do I regret it? Not at all.
I was too busy rolling out pasta and stealing bites of the squash purée to take pictures. Apologies.
Here’s the final product:
Ooooh, yes. This is as good as you think it’s going to be. And the sage pasta? Worth it.
Serve with brussels sprouts (our fall fav), sautéed snow peas, or kale. We tried all three over the course of a week. And crispy shallots – a must!
I sent my hubby on a shallot search an hour before dinner was ready. As you can see from above, he came back empty handed. (The poor guy drove to four different stores, then got poured on by a sudden and unexpected monsoon. I’ll forgive him this once!) Trust me, though, guys.. the shallots make a world of difference.
Sauté them over medium heat with a little butter, oil, salt, and pepper until almost burned (my fav), then sprinkle them over the finished lasagna.
Thanks for passing this recipe along, Jess (and, more generally, Martha Stewart)! It was absolutely scrumptious, and I’m sad to say I finished the last piece for lunch yesterday. I want more. Also, I want fall to never end. (I can’t imagine this tasting quite as good in the heat of July or August.)
Anyone else have a favorite fall recipe for me to try? My list is already a mile long, but hey, we’ve got some hungry mouths to feed over here.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
*Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.
Yields: 8 servings
Time: 1 hr 15 min
- 3 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used one large squash)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ lb fresh mozzarella cheese, coaresely grated (2 cups)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
- ½ cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- Fresh sage lasagna noodles, or store-bought dried noodles
- 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon saly on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, cream, yolks, mozzarella, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl. Season with salt.
- Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add sage, and cook until light gold and slightly crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Place squash in a medium bowl, and mash with the back of a wooden spoon or an immersion blender. Gently stir in sage-butter mixture and stock. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread ¾ cup of ricotta mixture in a 9-cup baking dish. Rop with a layer of noodles. Spread ½ of the butternut squash mixture over noodles. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles. Repeat layering once more (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta). Sprinkle Parmesan over ricotta mixture.
- Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Sauté shallots in butter over medium heat until crispy, about 5 or 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over sliced lasagna.
P.S. Happy Birthday, Jackson! Our lil guy is 1 year old today! Look how he’s grown.