Sunday, January 15, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna

One of my favorite comfort foods is lasagna and one of my favorite veggies is butternut squash.  You put those two together and you have an awesome alternative to your standard lasagna.  I used to make a bechamel sauce when making butternut squash lasagna but I found a great recipe that uses marscapone instead.  This makes things much easier!

While I didn't have any spinach on hand, this lasagna pairs well with a spinach salad.  This would also be good as a side dish served alongside beef, poultry or pork.  The lasagna freezes well so if you're just one (like me!) then you don't have to worry about any of this dish going to waste.  Although, I'm sure you'll love it so much that there won't be any leftover to freeze!  :)

Roasted Butternut Squash Whole Wheat Lasagna
makes one 8×8 dish
9-12 whole wheat lasagna noodle sheets (preferably no-boil)
3/4 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups cubed)
12 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
3/4 cup plus a handful of grated parmesan cheese
16 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
olive oil
a bunch of sage leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For squash: Lay cubed squash on a baking sheet, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (only about 1-2 teaspoons). Use your hands to coat the squash with olive oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven and let cool.  Alternatively, you could steam the squash in the microwave by putting the squash and a small amount of water in a covered dish and cook until fork tender, about 12 minutes.  Drain any excess water before mashing.  If you're like me and really like sage, add in a few whole leaves with the squash while it cooks to infuse the squash.
Once cool, mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth.  I left mine with some whole pieces for added texture.  The consistency is up to you. Just make sure it is spreadable.

For mascarpone filling: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add in onions and garlic, and stir every 30 seconds or so for 2-3 minutes.  I also finely chopped a few sage leaves to add in at this step, but that is optional.  The onions and garlic should be soft and fragrant. You don’t want them  to burn –  if it seems too hot, reduce the heat.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, combine mascarpone, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, remaining salt and pepper, and the onions, oil and garlic. Mix until somewhat smooth and spreadable.

Layer lasagna: Spray an 8×8 pan with non-stick spray, then lay 2-3 (depending on size/brand) noodles down. Spread half of the squash evenly over top, then spread/crumble half of the mascarpone on top of that. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and remaining parmesan on next, then repeat with one more set of noodles, squash, mascarpone, and cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes.  Remove foil and top the dish with a bunch of sage leaves that will crisp up in the oven. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until cheese on top is golden and bubbly and a knife goes easily through the layers. This dish will serve 2-4 as an entree, and 4-6 as a side dish.

Adapted from: How Sweet It Is