Butternut Squash Lasagna

22 Jan

This was a surprise hit with the family.  Kids are never too keen on trying anything new, and I thought the husband would complain about the lack of meat, but I was pleasantly surprise.  The basil is the key ingredient, so don’t skimp or substitute!  I was inspired by this recipe from the Food Network, but I decided to roast the squash instead, and add ricotta.  I meant to add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to the squash in place of the cookies, but I forgot and I’m glad I did.  I don’t know whether the squash was sweet because it caramelized while roasting, or if that particular squash was sweet to begin with, but there was not a hint of bitterness and no need for added sugar.  In fact, I’ll probably add a little cayenne with the salt and pepper before roasting next time – I like things spicy anyway.  I also added ricotta to the squash – more cheese never hurt anything.  The lasagna was very rich – perfect for a cold winter day, but you could leave out the ricotta if you wanted a lighter dish.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

  • 1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 400°.  Toss squash with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in the oven 25-35 minutes until soft and beginning to brown.  Remove and cool slightly.  Lower oven to 375°.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes until thickened, whisking frequently.  Stir in nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Add the basil to the workbowl of a food processor and pulse 2-3 times.  Add half of the slightly cooled sauce through the feed tube with the motor running until well blended.  Scrape the processor bowl well and return to the pot.  (You can also use a blender for this step.)

Add the slightly cooled squash and ricotta to the processor bowl and puree.

Butter a 9×12″ baking dish.  Spread 3/4 c sauce over bottom of pan.  Lay 3 lasagna noodles in the bottom without touching.  Spread 1/3 of pumpkin puree over noodles, then sprinkle 1/2 c mozzarella over top.  Repeat 3 times, ending with a layer of pasta and remaining mozzarella and sauce on top.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Cover tightly with foil* and bake 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes.

*The lasagna can be frozen at this point.  Thaw completely in refrigerator, then bake 50-60 minutes covered, 10-15 minutes uncovered.

5 Responses to “Butternut Squash Lasagna”

  1. Mom January 22, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    How about you make this next time we have dinner together? BTW … we are missing your cooking on Thursday nights!

  2. Dad January 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    The recipe sounds delicious. (Is there a left-over piece for your dear old father?) You point out that it is a meatless dish, and you often discuss meatless recipes.

    I agree that this is a worthwhile trend, but it does raise the question of nutritional balance and sufficiency. Are you working toward an increasingly meatless diet? If so, are you concerned about nutritional sufficiency?

    There’s no doubt that excessive consumption of meat is harmful at every level, from the individual to the environment worldwide. But, if we severely reduce the consumption of meat, or eliminate it completely, are we endangered by nutritional deficiencies. And, if so, can these be made up?

    • Kate January 23, 2010 at 9:57 am #

      No danger of my becoming vegetarian, but I have been planning at least one meatless dinner each week. I’ve also been cooking more beans lately, which are a source of protein, but not saturated fat. They’re also very budget-friendly!


  1. Ricotta Pancakes « an intermittent gourmet ~ real food, real life - February 8, 2010

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