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Tag Archives: lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

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My friend, Lynn, shared this recipe with me in the early fall when my grass was still green, and as you can see from the green in my photos, I made it immediately.  I’m so glad I’m finally getting around to sharing it before winter squash and hot comfort meals are forgotten in favor of salads and meals that can be cooked without turning the oven on.  This is definitely one to try before winter gives way to spring.

Lynn said she makes it every fall, and sometimes adds Italian sausage and caramelized onions to hers. Well, those additions didn’t sound optional to me and I’m so glad I found the time to add them.  This is a rather involved recipe but definitely worth the time. Utter deliciousness! Slightly sweet & creamy squash, gooey cheese, with layers of flavor from the onions and sausage…a big winner with our whole family.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (1 1/2- to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1 lb. Italian sausage
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
Pinch of nutmeg
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add the cubed squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet, cover, and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the squash to a mixing bowl or food processor and mash. Season the squash purée to taste with more salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat 3-4 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onions slowly turn brown and caramelized, adding additional oil if necessary, about 30-40 minutes. Stir into the squash.

Cook the Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up and crumbling it with a spatula until cooked through. Drain and set aside.

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

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 13×9 glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Cover the bottom of pan with one layer of lasagna noodles. Spread half of the squash purée over the noodle, then half of the sausage. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the cheese. Repeat layering once more, finishing with a layer of noodles covered only by white sauce.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna and continue baking until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Recipe source: Mother Earth News with adaptation by Lynn S.

More squashy favorites…

Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Pie – yes, you can have your breakfast casserole without all the carbs! A creation of my own that I’m pretty proud of. Seriously yum.

Garlic Chicken & Bacon Spaghetti Squash Alfredo – I don’t like pasta alfredo, but this…is heaven.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Turkey Stew…seriously one of my top favorite things I’ve eaten in the history of ever.

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Lasagna & Garlic Bread

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Both these recipes come from my favorite food blog, My Kitchen Cafe, and are the best lasagna and garlic bread I’ve ever made.  We ate huge pieces of the lasagna and couldn’t stop going back for more of this amazing garlic bread until only 1/4 of the loaf remained.  5 cloves of fresh garlic cooked in butter for 7 minutes, then stirred into softened butter makes an amazing spread.  This dinner was delicious, hearty & satisfying. Serve it with a green salad and you’ve got a wonderful meal.

Mom’s Lasagna
recipe adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 package oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 to 1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (undrained)
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves minced garlic
2 ½ teaspoons dried basil
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 container (15 ounce) ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook ground beef and onion, drain. Stir in tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, sugar, garlic, basil, and pepper.  Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally (this is actually so thick that it doesn’t exactly simmer. I just left it on low heat and stirred it once in a while). In a small bowl blend ricotta, egg, parsley, parmesan cheese and ½ teaspoon salt. Put a layer of noodles in a 9 X 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil, a layer of meat sauce, layer of ricotta mixture and a layer of the cheese then repeat all the layers twice more. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover, bake 10 minutes more. (I cooked mine 30 minutes foil on & 20 minutes without the foil, that’s why the cheese got all dry-looking.) Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

*Freezable Meal: Prepare recipe right up until the baking step and then cover with a double layer of aluminum foil. Freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To bake, increase baking time to about 40 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered. If baking from frozen, bake covered for 1 hour and 30 minutes, uncover and bake 30 minutes longer.

Garlic Bread
adapted from Melanie’s Cheesy Garlic Bread

5 garlic cloves, finely minced (click here for a tutorial on working with fresh garlic)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 tsp if you’re using unsalted butter)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 18-20-inch baguette or loaf of french bread, sliced in half horizontally

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400.

In a small nonstick skillet, cook the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the butter and water over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is straw colored, 7-10 minutes. It is important to keep the heat low or the garlic will burn and turn bitter. The garlic should be lightly browned but not burned!

In a small bowl, place the remaining 7 tablespoons softened butter and the salt and pepper. Mix in the hot garlic mixture and stir to combine. Using a rubber spatula, spread the butter mixture on the cut sides of bread. Sandwich the bread back together and wrap the loaf in foil. Place the wrapped loaf on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.    Cut into angled pieces and serve hot. Please try to exert self-control and share the bounty with others at the table.

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