Brooding On

Eating in Season: Butternut Squash Lasagna

This blonde lasagna makes use of butternut squash, which is locally in season, and can be prepared ahead of time and just popped into the oven before dinnertime (which is my second favorite way to do dinner -- 1st favorite is to use the CrockPot, of course).  Also, because the squash is pureed, you won't have to endure the "Mom,-what's-this?" question, as a little waves around his fork wielding an unidentified chunk of something.  (If you have a texture weirdo at your table, you know what I'm talking about.)

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 c. water
4 Tbs. butter
1/3 c. flour
4 c. whole milk
pinch of nutmeg
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2.5 c. shredded mozzarella
1/3 c. grated Paremesan

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the cubed squash and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour in water, cover, and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, 15-20 minutes.  Mash or food process the squash to desired consistency.  Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk.  Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens, whisking often, about 5 minutes.  Add the nutmeg and more salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 13"x9" baking dish with non-stick spray.  Spread 3/4 c. of sauce over baking dish.  Cover the bottom of pan with one layer of noodles.  Spread half the squash puree over the noodles.  Sprinkle with 1/2 c. of mozzarella cheese.  Drizzle with 1/2 c. of sauce.  Repeat layering once more, finishing with a layer of noodles covered only by white sauce.

Tightly cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove cover, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan, and continue baking until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15-20 minutes.  Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

I was a HUGE fan of this recipe! 

Thanks to Mother Earth News for this and many more recipes for eating in season.