Piping-hot food is one of the things that keep me going until…April. And since the cold, icy days of winter seem to require double the energy to get through, it helps to eat something that’s hearty and filling as well. This recipe is interesting in that it straddles the line between what I think of as “girl food” and heavier, more substantial dishes.
I brought this lasagna to my friend’s bridal shower, where I like to think it was appreciated for that balance. This is certainly a “different” type of lasagna – no tomato sauce, no ricotta cheese (the governor’s mother probably wouldn’t be a fan). It’s a colorful, unique way to use up that squash you’ve had sitting in the kitchen for a month – after you make soup of course.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
2-3 pound butternut squash
½ cup water
½ cup (1 stick) butter (if you use unsalted, you’ll have to add more seasoning)
½ cup flour
5 cups milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper
1 box lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Peel the squash, remove the seeds and dice it into cubes. Along with the water, steam the squash in the microwave or on the stove until fork-tender – 10 to 15 minutes in the microwave or 20 to 25 on the stove.
Remove from the heat and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer until it thickens slightly, whisking often, 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste.
Coat the bottom of a greased 9×13” pan with the white sauce. Layer the noodles on top. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree on top of the noodles, and top with ½ cup mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of noodles, sauce, squash puree and cheese. Repeat with another layer, then top with final layer of noodles, sauce and cheese.
Cover the dish tightly and bake on 375 F for 45 minutes. Uncover the dish and sprinkle with the parmesan, then return to the oven for another 15 minutes
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