Until recently I was not a fan of butternut squash. As I said in a previous post, my husband and I a few years ago decided to decrease our meat consumption. This brought about an increase in veggie consumption that included veggies never tried before. One of those vegetables was butternut squash. I made a winter squash soup that used acorn and butternut squash. It was delicious and thus started my incorporating of winter squashes into my everyday cooking.
The supermarket is now full of butternut squash, and they are kind enough to offer the squash already pealed, cut, and seeded, which is the most time consuming thing to do yourself. I will spend the extra money for this convenience.
The holiday season is coming and I am always on the lookout to make something different. I found a Butternut Squash Lasagne on FoodNetwork.com. It sounded different and it can be boring making the same tomato and cheese based lasagna. I was willing to make my family guinea pigs before I tried it out on anyone else.
I made some slight adjustments in the preparation and ingredients to the original. It tastes absolutely delicious. You will love this even if you don't like butternut squash.
- 2 lbs cut up, peeled, seeded butternut squash
- 1/4 Cup oil (I used a mixture of canola and olive oil)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1/4 Cup flour
- 1 1/2 Cup skim milk
- 2 Cups half and half
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 Cup unpacked basil
- 1/4 Cup basil pesto (recipe can be found here.)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 Cups mozzarella (I used a 6 Italian Cheese blend that included mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, asiago, romano, and provolone.)
- 1/2 Cup parmesan
Toss the squash with the oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. I let it roast until I saw the squash was starting to brown in some spots. Remove from the oven and cool.
In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Slowly add the half and half and the milk. Prior to boiling add the basil. I then used my immersion blender to mix in the basil. I then mixed in the pesto. Make sure you don't use much of the oil from the pesto.
Then add the nutmeg and let the mixture thicken. Once it boils it will thicken. Remove it from the heat once it is thickened.
Take the cooled squash and place it in a food processor. Add the almond extract. Puree the squash, then taste for more salt and pepper.
In a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish, spray the bottom with cooking spray. Place 3/4 Cup of the sauce on the bottom of the dish. Then place the first 3 pieces of the no boil lasagne on top of the sauce.
Scoop 1/3 of the squash on the noodles and spread it evenly. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese on top. Scoop 1/2 cup of the sauce on top the cheese. Then place 3 more lasagne sheets on top and continue with 2 more layers.
After the final layer of the noodles is placed, spread the remaining sauce on them.
Cover the dish with foil and place in a preheated 400F oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove the lasagne. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top as well as the 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes. The cheese should start to brown and the sauce will be all bubbly.
This tastes so good. The flavors all work so well together. This will get you lots of compliments as well as recipe requests. My husband had multiple helpings and would never have touched butternut squash a few years ago. It might be a great way to introduce this vegetable to picky eaters who like lasagne. It was also a nice change from the regular tomato sauce based lasagne.