Saturday, March 3, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna

This is a wonderfully warm fall and winter dish.

Butternut Squash Lasagna
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium butternut squashes (2-3 pounds), peeled and seeded, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
6 (or more, depending on taste) amaretti or gingersnap cookies, crushed
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
3/4 C whole milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup fresh basil or 1-2 tablespoons dried basil
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 C grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the squash and toss to coat.  Pour in the water and cover.  Steam the squash for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add cookies and mix in, coating with any leftover water to soften.  Using an immersion blender, blend squash and cookies until smooth.  Season to taste.

In a medium or large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk for about a minute to make a roux.  Gradually add in milk and bring to a boil over medium.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until sauce thickens, about 6-8 minutes.  Add dried basil (or combine fresh basil using the immersion blender) and nutmeg.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly oil a 9x13 pan.  Spread 3/4 C white sauce over the bottom of the pan.  Arrange lasagna noodles on top.  Spread 1/3 of the squash mixture over the noodles.  Add 1/2 C mozzarella cheese and top with another layer of noodles.  Add three more layers (white sauce, squash, and cheese with noodles in between) using all the remaining ingredients.  Top with extra mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover with tin foil and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbling and golden brown.  Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes.  Serve with a salad and Italian bread.

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