Fresh from the Garden Butternut Squash Lasagna
There is a lot of focus this month on pumpkin recipes, but I’d like to take a break and give some attention to the less popular (but no less tasty) cousin in the squash family – butternut. At my produce co-op, we refer to them as “the funny squash.” There are always quite a few orders for them, but newcomers always ask, “What do you make with them?” I think it is most well known for its use in soup or as a baby food because it purees so smoothly. But as we learned earlier this week from Heather, squash pairs deliciously with pasta and with cheese. Butternut squash is aptly named because it has such a creamy, buttery texture in the mouth, but is also warm and nutty at the same time. When you cut one open, they smell sweet like a melon.
This dish is a wonderful seasonal alternative to the traditional tomato based lasagna. It is a filling meatless meal, but you could always add some if you like. Squash also pairs very well with spice, so you could throw in a dash of red pepper if you feel so inclined.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com
- 6.5 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 0.5 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 0.33 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 18 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- 2.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 0.33 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
In a large covered pot, cook squash and chicken broth over medium heat until squash is fork tender (15-20 minutes). Mash with a fork or puree squash in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook about one minute until bubbling. Slowly whisk in milk and continue cooking 5-7 minutes whisking frequently until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Coat the bottom of baking pans (two 8 x 8 or one 13 x 9) with 2-3 Tablespoons of sauce (double for 13 x 9). Then layer 1/3 of lasagna noodles, half of squash puree, and 1/3 of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (divide evenly among pans if making two). Top with half of cream sauce, then repeat layer. Finish topping lasagna with remaining 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 of cheese, and remaining 1/2 of cream sauce. Bake covered at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes. Let lasagna sit 5 minutes. Then cut and serve.
Cover lasagna pans tightly with foil and freeze before baking. To serve: Thaw and bake as directed above.
**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann