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Friday
Jan172014

Butternut Squash Lasagna

When I started this site I told myself that I would dedicate one day each week to trying something new. Challenge myself really with one recipe a week. Well, as you have seen I am lucky to get one in a month. My restaurant is busy, my family is busy, all these extracurricular activities, my other business blah blah… My Staff Sergeant years ago told me “Excuses only satisfy those who give them”. I am going to take his advice and stop making excuses.

Since it has been so long since my last entry I decided to make this one really shine. When I decided to make a Butternut Squash Lasagna I scoured the web trying to find something within the realm of what I wanted to do. I found some that put cookies in it, some with cinnamon and sugar, and some very far off ones that made it with marshmallows. I tossed the idea around my head trying to find complex but complimenting ingredients. I knew a red sauce wouldn’t work, so I went with the subtle and simple béchamel which wouldn’t overpower the squash and would complement the ricotta. Low and behold, success. The result was a creamy lasagna with the subtle sweetness of butternut squash. It was a huge hit at my restaurant this weekend, which I am sure your family will agree.

 

Squash Layer:

1 lbs Sliced Butternut Squash

Olive oil

 

Sauteed Spinach Layer:

1 lbs Fresh Spinach

1 Tbsp Garlic, Minced

2 Tbsp Butter

 

4 Cups Béchamel Sauce (recipe to follow)

 

Cheese Layer:

2 lbs Ricotta Cheese

1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

½ tsp White Pepper

2 tsp Garlic, Minced

¼  tsp Onion Powder

¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Basil

 

3 lbs Dry Lasagna Noodles

 

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash through the center splitting the base from the top. Peel the squash using either a thick potato peeler or a sharp knife as I did in the picture. Cut the squash tip to base in half, lay on the flat side and slice into 1/8th inch layers.

Lay the squash on sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a convection oven on the middle rack at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

While the squash is cooking bring a 10 quart pot of water to boil and cook the lasagna noodles for 6 minutes and immediately immerse in an ice bath.  The noodles will be a bit under cooked than your normal al dente.  Allow to cool completely. If you want to use thawed frozen lasagna noodles then follow the directions on the packaging.

In a medium pot melt the butter with the garlic over medium low heat and add the spinach tossing to coat with the melted butter. Cook down until it is a deep green throughout, so about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl mix the ricotta, garlic and spices. Set aside.

 

Lightly grease the inside of a 4 inch or deeper 9x13 baking pan. Lay each lasagna noodle to cover the bottom of pan, not overlapping. Apply a single layer of the squash running the opposite way of the noodles. Cover with a thin layer of béchamel then lay the noodles running the opposite way as the previous layer. Apply a thin layer of spinach followed by the ricotta covered by another layer of noodles. Repeat the process until all of the squash and ricotta is used. The top layer should be the cheese and spinach layer covered by a last noodle layer, covered with béchamel.

Bake covered in the oven at 300 degrees with a pan full of water underneath it for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Cut into 12 pieces and serve hot.  There you have my twist on a tried and true family favorite.

 

Béchamel:

1lbs Butter, melted

12oz White Flour

4 Cups Heavy Cream

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Slowly add the flour to make the roux. Cook the roux over medium heat for 8 minutes continuously stirring until light golden brown. In a separate saucepan, heat the heavy cream to right before steaming. Once the roux is done, add the heavy cream and whisk thoroughly. Continue to cook over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes. Now this béchamel is different than your standard French Mother Sauce, as it will be slightly thicker almost like a thin icing. If it becomes too stiff, add a bit more cream. Set aside and allow to cool.

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Reader Comments (2)

This is the ultimate self-esteem corrector. Thank you for your post; it is a very important distinction

Recipes

March 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHome Made Recipes

I have seen this recipe around for awhile now and FINALLY tried it. Best one yet!! My friend LOVED IT!!!

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfood delivery

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