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
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.