Monday, November 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach & Sage


I'm an odd-ball- this I already know, you need not remind me.  I do weird things, especially when it comes to cooking.  For instances, I either measure all ingredients exactly as the recipe suggests (using a kitchen scale for things such as flour, sugar, etc.) Or, I disregard measurements completely. Do you do silly things like this?  Usually, if I'm baking a dessert (for the first time) I tend to measure things exactly, well the "important things". You'll rarely find me measuring spices and I NEVER EVER EVER measure salt and pepper...OOPS! When it comes to savory/non-dessert baking dishes, I usually don't measure things at all.  So far, this has worked out for me and this recipe is a prime example. Unfortunately, the picture does not do this lasagna justice, it was great.

When I first saw this recipe I was intrigued but skeptical.  Luckily, my curiosity got the best of me and I made it almost immediately.  It was really tasty and the Parmesan-Sage Bechamel sauce will be used in many other recipes.  I love finding recipes that you can use parts of in other dishes.  I think the sauce would be yummy with penne pasta and grilled chicken :)  If I can make a suggestion when it comes to cooking, it would be this:  Step out of your comfort zone, take some chances, and explore things you normally wouldn't.  You might be pleasantly surprised.


Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach & Sage
Printable Recipe
Source: Bake Your Day
Ingredients:

Roasted Squash
1 (2-3 lb) butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 tbsp. dried sage)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Parmesan-Sage Bechamel Sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
14 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. dried sage
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Lasagna:
1 large onion (I used purple), diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
12 lasagna noodles
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray and add butternut squash, then toss with olive oil, sage, salt and pepper.  Roast 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender.

Remove from oven and transfer squash to a bowl, then gently mash with potato masher.

While squash is roasting, melt butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan then gently stir in flour and whisk.

Add salt and pepper, nutmeg and dried sage and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Slowly whisk in milk and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Cook until sauce boils and thickens slightly.

Whisk in Parmesan cheese then remove from heat.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven then add onion.  Cover and cook onions 20 minutes or until they are brown and fragrant, stirring frequently. 

Add spinach to onions and cook 6-8 minutes then add the butternut squash and stir until combined.  Remove from heat.

Spray a 9x13 or 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Ladle a small amount of the Parmesan Bechamel sauce on the bottom of pan then layer 4 (3 if using square dish) lasagna noodles on top of sauce. It is okay i the noodles overlap.  Next add the squash/spinach mixture then top with about 1 cup sauce, repeat layers 2 (4 if using square dish) times.

Add 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese on top of lasagna and sprinkle some Parmesan on top if desired.

If you want to make ahead, cover with foil and keep in refrigerator until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and cook lasagna, covered for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and cook another 15 minutes, uncovered.  Remove lasagna from oven and allow to sit 10 minutes before serving.

*I did not measure any spices, I just added them to taste, the above measurements are from the original recipe but I think mine were fairly close.  My grocery didn't have fresh sage so I used dried while roasting squash and in the sauce.*

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