Monday, November 11, 2013

Butternut Squash Lasagna

When most people think of fall flavors the #1 thing that probably comes to mind for most people is pumpkin.  I'm pretty sure 99% of my newsfeed on Facebook was dedicated to the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks on the day they made their return appearance.  However, when I think of fall I immediately think of butternut squash.  I seriously can't believe that before 2011 I don't think I had even tasted it.  I now want to put it in everything!  My butternut squash soup made an appearance on our table a few weeks ago.  But I'm always looking for different things to do with it.

So I was incredibly excited when I flipped through this month's issue of Food Network Magazine and in their weekend meal section featuring different lasagnas they included a recipe for one using roasted butternut squash.  I basically started salivating as soon as I read the title of the recipe.  I knew that I had to make it in the near future.

I was able to get this done on a Sunday night, when my husband was home to help with the baby.  Though I will say, although this recipe straightforward probably does take the 2 hours listed, it's easy to do some of the parts earlier than others.  For example, I put the squash and onions to roast and then went to feed the baby.  When I returned to the kitchen maybe 30 min later (my husband was on oven duty and had taken the pans out when they finished cooking) I then did the sauce.  I like when a more time consuming recipe doesn't leave time constraints.  Much easier to handle making a dish like this while I can't give it my undivided attention.

Although I typed out the recipe below as printed in the magazine, I adjusted the recipe slightly to suit our tastes:
- I used a red onion instead of a basic "cooking onion" as I usually do.  Roasted red onions may be another new favorite of time
-  I didn't use sage leaves just a sprinkle of dried sage. While I'm not the biggest sage fan my husband absolutely hates it and wouldn't touch a dish with sage leaves
- I used skim milk instead of whole
- I changed the size of the pan and made 2 pans. Since there are only two of us and I'm heading back to work in a few weeks I want to start stocking up the freezer.  One pan was plenty for dinner 2 nights and now we have some in the freezer to enjoy later.

This came out so delicious, I am sure it will make a return to my fall menu next year!

Butternut Squash Lasagna (from Food Network Magazine)

for the vegetables:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
1 onion, halved and sliced

for the bechamel:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
10 sage leaves
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

for the lasagna:
unsalted butter, for the baking dish
1 cup grated fontina cheese (about 4 oz)
1 cup grated low-moisture mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 oz)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
9 no-boil lasagna noodles

- Make the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the squash with 1 tbsp olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt.  Toss the onion with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil on a separate baking sheet; season with salt.  Roast, rotating the baking sheets once, until the vegetables are tender, 18-20 minutes; set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350.
- Meanwhile, make the bechamel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sage and cook 1 minute.  Whisk in the flour until smooth, cook, whisking, until the flour is lightly golden but not brown, about 2 minutes.  Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg.
- Assemble the lasagna: Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Toss the cheeses and the flour in a bowl; set aside 1/2 cup for topping.  Evenly coat the bottom of the dish with 1/2 cup of the bechamel.  Lay 2 noodles side by side on top.  Cover with one third of the remaining bechamel.  Sprinkle with half o the remaining cheese mixture, then top with half of the vegetable mixture.  Arrange 3 more noodles on top and repeat the layers (bechamel, cheese, vegetables).  Top with the remaining 3 noodles, then cover with the remaining bechamel; sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup cheese.
- Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes.  Turn on the broiler.  Uncover the lasagna and broil until browned, about 2 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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