Sunday, November 07, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

This recipe has become one of my favorite versions of lasagna. Butternut squash is roasted til slightly crispy and caramelized. It's then layered between sheets of fresh pasta with b├ęchamel and tomato sauces and lots of Parmesan cheese. When baked, the cheese on top melts, the exposed edges of the pasta toast, and the lasagna puffs up so it's big and beautiful and delicious, with bits of bright orange squash peeking through.

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 med. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
6 sheets fresh lasagna (or 1 box dried)
Bechamel sauce (1 stick of butter, 1/2-3/4 c flour, 5-6 c warm milk, salt and pepper)
Tomato sauce (I cheated this time and used one large jar of WF brand organic tomato-basil sauce)
1 - 1.5 c Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and olive oil

1. Put the cubed squash onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. Toss with salt, pepper and a little olive oil and roast at 400 degrees (425 if you're impatient) til the squash is tender and the edges are lightly browned/caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool.
2. Cook the pasta according to the box or, if using fresh, parboil and rinse in cool water to stop the cooking.
3. To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a med. saucepan. Then add the flour and whisk well. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, and then slowly whisk in the milk. Keep stirring til thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Assembling it all:
a. Spoon about 1/2 c of tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread it around. This will help keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
b. Put down a layer of pasta, trimming it to fit, if nec. (with the sheets of pasta I use, I get about 3/4 of a sheet per layer, and then I combine the shorter pieces for middle layers.)
c. Then spoon in 1/2-3/4 c of the bechamel and spread it around. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the butternut squash cubes (or use 1/2 if you don't want to make as many layers.) Sprinkle with a little parmesan
d. Add another layer of pasta. Cover with 1/2 c or so of tomato sauce and then more bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.
e. Repeat the layers of bechamel/squash and tomato/bechamel twice more (or once each if you're just doing two layers of squash)
f. Top with a last layer of pasta and spread a little more bechamel and parmesan on top.
5. Bake at 350 for 45 min. or so til hot and bubbling. Let sit for 10 min. or so before serving, so you can slice it a bit more easily.


sara said...

I'll have to try that sometime. When I make squash I usually just roast it whole in its skin, cause it's lots easier than trying to peel it....

Kt said...

LOL, I was just talking about peeling squash with someone else this morning. She won't do it either, but it's worth it for this, IMO. You get caramelization and crispiness on the squash, which gives it extra flavor in the lasagna. I just peel and chop it all up -- it's not perfect and precise, as it cooks down in the oven anyhow.