Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Over at I Heart Cooking Clubs the theme of the week is Potluck, I actually started making this dish for last week's Served Family Style theme, but everyone likes a lasagna at a potluck, right? This lasagna is perfect for a fall evening, especially if you are a big butternut squash fan, like myself.

I have a favorite autumn squash lasagna recipe, Martha Stewart's Acorn Squash Lasagna, that I've made every fall for the last few years, but this was a nice change of pace and also a great way to use up some of this absolutely huge butternut squash I found at a local market...

I know that's not the greatest photo of a squash, but it was so huge, definitely the biggest butternut squash I've ever seen. It was over 5 lbs! In Giada's Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe, the directions say to peel, dice, and simmer the squash bits in a pot of water, before pureeing in a food processor -- but I thought that roasting would be an easier and tastier route.

I cannot believe all of that squash is from one squash! Above is after roasting for an hour at 400, spritzed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt before roasting, of course...

Here is the recipe, I've noted my changes in italics, which were mainly using different cheeses for more flavor and extra texture, and no basil.

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via InStyle Magazine

1 tbsp olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 ½ lb.) -- I roasted my 5 lb seeded squash, spritzed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour, you would probably want to decrease that time for a smaller squash
Salt and pepper to taste

4 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups milk
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves - I did not use basil, had no fresh and didn't want to use dried
2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided -- I swapped out the mozzarella and used Gruyere and also added 1/3 lb extra thinly sliced Provolone from the deli
1 box (8 oz.) oven-ready lasagna noodles -- I used a regular sized box of boil lasagna noodles with ruffled edges -- Barilla brand, and had about 4 noodles left over after the lasagna was completed
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese -- I used Grana Padano and only for serving with

In large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add squash and toss to coat. Add ½ cup water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 min. or until tender. Cool slightly.

Puree squash in food processor. Season with salt and pepper. -- I skipped the pepper

In medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, whisking for 1 min. Increase heat to high and gradually whisk in milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 min., or until slightly thickened. -- mine was still quite thin but worked well in the recipe -- Whisk in nutmeg and cinnamon. Let cool slightly.

Pour half the white sauce into a blender; add the basil and blend until smooth. Return basil sauce to saucepan and combine with rest of white sauce. Season with salt and pepper. -- I skipped this step but did add about 1/2 of the bechamel to the pureed squash to make is easier to spread on the lasagna noodles.

Heat oven to 350°F. Reserve ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Lightly spray 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread ¾ cup of basil sauce in bottom of baking dish. Place three lasagna noodles crosswise over the sauce. Spread ½ of the squash puree over the noodles, followed by ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering using basil sauce, noodles, squash puree and mozzarella.

I pretty much just did the layers the same way with the other cheeses and bechamel squash puree and drizzled a little remaining bechamel over each layer.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 min. Remove foil and sprinkle with reserved ½ cup of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and continue baking 15 min. Let stand 15 min. before cutting.

This was really delicious, I absolutely love the nutmeg and cinnamon in the bechamel sauce, it gave such amazing flavor depth and was so seasonal.

In my opinion the Gruyere and Provolone made this amazing. I love the added texture from the deli sliced Provolone and the Gruyere gave a stuble nuttiness to the cheese layers. This could quite possibly be my new favorite autumn squash lasagna :)


Debinhawaii said...

What a gorgeous lasagna--perfect for fall. I love that you roasted your ginormous squash to cook it--I am sure that it added so much to the flavor of the dish. Great pick! ;-)

Kim said...

I have to say that roasting your butternut squash was a brilliant idea. Much easier than cubing up a big old butternut squash AND much tastier than boiling. Good call! I bet this smells amazing while it is baking in the oven. It looks very tasty.

Bibberche said...

I am in the roasting camp, too. The flavor is just not comparable, and it is much easier to scoop the meat out.
I am glad someone dared to make this dish:) I was ogling it, but did not want to disappoint the classic lasagna lovers in the family (tried it once with the eggplant lasagna).
You have inspired me to venture beyond! Thanks!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Andrea, I have just one word to say to you - sensational!!
P.S. I would roast the butternut too.
Sue :-)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Just gorgeous! And I want to look up Martha's recipe too - squash in a lasagna - such a great idea!

Allison said...

Mmmmm. This looks delicious. I'm jealous of the folks who get to go to a potluck with you!

girlichef said...

This is beautiful! I would definitely love this lasagna at a potluck...I think roasting is definitely the way to go with the squash, too. Looks fantastic :)

Cook of the House said...

This dish looks like it would definitely fit into the comfort food category. Yum!

lexi said...

HOW did I miss this? It looks so good!

Anonymous said... this Halloween if we have this mouth watering dish then what else needed...???ha ha ha you make me to eat this one...thanks for sharing....

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

OMG, ur lasagna looks perfectly delicious!!
Love the addition of B.squash!!
I agree ur choice of the 2 cheeses does make it so good!

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