When I make my grocery list each week, I comb through my recipe binders and cookbooks. This week a recipe fell out that was torn from a newspaper over four years ago and yet was one I’d never made. I’m not sure why because it looked delicious. I made a tweak here and there, added the ingredients to my shopping list and the results were wonderful! It would be easy to adapt as a vegetarian meal. It was hearty but not heavy. I can’t wait to make it again. What a wonderful alternative to traditional tomato-sauce based lasagna!
Butternut Squash Lasagna
1 medium butternut squash
1 quart of chicken broth
1 pound of ground sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp garlic
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 pound of lasagna noodles
grated Parmesan cheese
1. Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and lay flesh side up on a baking sheet. Place a tablespoon of butter on each half and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until flesh is soft enough to pierce with a fork. Let cool.
2. Brown your sausage over medium high heat. Remove and place in a bowl lined with paper towels (helps to remove some of the grease) and pour off most of the fat from the pan, reserving just enough to brown your garlic & onions. Cook the onions & garlic for about 10 minutes until the onion is translucent and lightly browned. Place in the bowl with the sausage. (Don’t forget to pull out your paper towels!)
3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook your lasagna noodles according to instructions. At this time also put your chicken broth on to simmer.
4. While that’s happening, scoop the flesh of the cooled butternut squash into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the eggs, ricotta cheese and seasonings. Blend until smooth then mix with the sausage & onions. This is your filling.
5. In a lasagna pan or 9×13 dish, layer your lasagna. Alternate noodles, filling, a generous sprinkle of parmesan and a ladle full of broth. End with noodles, one more scoop of broth and more parmesan on the top. Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are a bit crispy.
We served this with some grilled asparagus alongside (toss one bunch of asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes and grill on a lightly oiled grill pan for about 10 minutes).