So, I was basically a nervous wreck all day yesterday, waiting for election results and watching cable news obsessively. I knew I needed some comfort food so I put my nervous energy to work in the kitchen, layering flavors, creating something delicious and keeping my mind occupied.
I pretty much always have butternut squash around this time of year so I roasted mine and then pureed it in a food processor. You can also cut it into chunks and steam or microwave it. In a pinch, you can even use the frozen winter squash puree and still get a great flavor. I seasoned it with plenty of black pepper to cut through the sweet, creaminess of the sauce and tossed in a good bit of sharp fresh basil.
The result was heavenly. Sweetness from the butternut, sharpness from the Parmesan and basil and creaminess from the bechamel sauce. Comfort in a bowl. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash and Parmesan Lasagna
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ingredients (4 Servings)
- 1/2 Box (approx. 9 pieces) lasagna noodles
- 3/4 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 Cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Cups milk
- 1 Cup butternut squash puree
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 Teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Make the squash sauce by adding the butter and garlic to a large skillet and sauteing for a minute, just until the garlic begins to get translucent but does not color. Whisk in the flour until the granules are thoroughly coated with the butter and then slowly, over low heat, whisk in the milk. Continue whisking for a few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
Stir in the butternut squash puree, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and fresh basil.
Assemble the lasagna by spreading a couple of spoonfuls of ricotta cheese on the bottom of a baking dish (approx. 7" x 10"), add a layer of noodles and, if they're larger than the pan, trim off the edges with a knife or kitchen shears.
Next, spread on a couple of spoonfuls of the squash sauce, another layer of noodles, another couple of spoonfuls of ricotta, about 1/4 cup of the mozzarella and a couple of spoonfuls of Parmesan. Repeat as many layers as you can fit and top with the last of the mozzarella cheese.
Bake for approximately 45 - 50 minutes or until the lasagna is a light golden brown. Note that this recipe may be doubled.
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