The Recipes

Butternut Squash Lasagna

So last night I was talking about how cooking on a Friday night should be stress-free.  Saturday and Sunday nights are for going all out, don't you think?

I made this lasagna while my friend Mikey made a delicious fennel and apple salad to start.  It was a small gathering of friends and an excellent way to celebrate my return to D.C.

I was living in Montana, so it's been nice to catch up with friends in D.C.

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Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

- 6 sheets of fresh pasta, or one box of lasagna noodles
- 2 butternut squash
- 1/4 c. sage leaves
- 1 head garlic
- fresh nutmeg
- 1 1/2 c. fresh ricotta
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 c. freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 4 T. butter
- 4 T. flour
- 1 1/2 c. milk, cream or almond milk
- salt
- pepper
- freshly grated parmesan for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Halve the two squash.  Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cut the top of the head of the bulb of garlic off.  Place it on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap the head of garlic tightly.  Place the squash, cut-side down, and wrapped garlic on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.

Scoop out the seeds of the squash.  Put the flesh of the squash in a food processor.  Squeeze the head of garlic out of the jackets into the food processor.  Add the sage and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Add a few splashes of milk as needed.

If you are using dried noodles, cook according to package instructions.  While you are cooking the pasta, whisk together the ricotta, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour until it resembles a paste.  Slowly whisk in the milk and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Continue whisking until smooth; approximately 5-7 minutes.

Ladle a shallow layer of the sauce into the bottom of a lasagna pan.  Layer in the other ingredients, starting with pasta, 1/2 of the squash mixture, another layer of pasta, a layer of the ricotta mixture topped with half of the cheese, another layer of pasta, and half of the remaining sauce.  Repeat the process.  Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for one hour in a 350 degree oven.  Remove the foil and grate the parmesan over the top.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.