Individual Butternut Squash Lasagna with Infused Bechamel

Here is yet another version of a butternut squash lasagna in mini form, individually portioned. Round slices of butternut squash are layered in with a creamy ricotta mixture and topped off with a sage, garlic and parmesan infused bechamel.
 You can serve this as a main course along with a pretty fall salad, or as a side, with lets say, a pork roast, yum!  I’ve done it both ways. This recipe requires no pasta at all, you won’t even miss it, I promise!
I can’t explain how good this is, you’re going to have to try it for yourself!
To make this, look for a squash that is pretty much the same width from top to bottom as in my photo, my slices were about 4 inches round. If you can’t find one like that, get one with a long neck.
Then just peel, slice, and roast them on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper at 375 until fork tender.
Mix up a pound of ricotta with 1/3 cup of grated parmesan or romano cheese, a good handful of chopped fresh spinach or kale, 1 egg, salt and pepper. This will be spread in between your layers.
I like using 3 slices of squash per mini lasagna.
For the bechamel sauce, melt 5 tablespoons of butter, whisk in 5 tablespoons of flour, cook until it bubbles a little then add 4 cups of milk, 1 1/2 cloves of minced garlic, 4 sage leaves and a handful of grated parmesan, whisk until smooth and thickened.
Spoon a layer of the bechamel on the bottom of your casserole dish first, then place your mini lasagna right in there. Spoon bechamel over the top.
Bake until ricotta mixture is hot and cooked through. Garnish with a sage leaf.
Fall is in the air!


Butternut Squash Lasagna, Revisited

I love this time of year it puts me in the mood for butternut squash lasagna. Have you tried it yet? If you haven’t, you must. I’ve made this before and even posted about it, but this time I changed things up a bit by infusing fresh sage along with roasted garlic in the warm bechamal sauce, and I also added ricotta cheese between my layers. This is crazy good!

I used one large butternut squash, cut in half, scooped out the seeds, peeled it and cut into chunks. Placed them on a baking sheet seasoned with salt and pepper and olive oil drizzle, 400F 15-20 minutes until fork tender, not mushy. In the same oven I roasted 1 head of garlic wrapped in tin foil.

In the meantime, make your basic bechamal sauce, when finished add in the roasted and smashed garlic, along with some fresh sage leaves and a good handful of grated parmesan. Let it infuse for a good 20-30 minutes before layering your lasagna.

Whisk an egg into the ricotta along with a generous helping of grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Layering with sauce, pasta, more sauce, the squash, ricotta mixture, and more grated cheese. Bake covered with tin foil 375F, for about 30 minutes, take the foil off and stick it under the broiler till golden brown. Feel free to use boil, no boil, whole wheat or white lasagna noodles, just make plenty of sauce so you have a little extra for serving.

I repeat… This is crazy good!

Buon Appetito!

Butternut Squash Lasagna w/ Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Bechemal!!

I’m a late bloomer in my love for butternut squash. I never wanted to cut up a big squash like that and bake it, I’d rather have a sweet potato! . But then a couple years ago I had the most amazing soup made of butternut squash, and I was hooked!

I started to see it everywhere in magazines, and on cooking shows. I saw it in souffle’s, gratin’s, ravioli’s, in grain’s, pasta dishes. I saw it roasted, maple glazed, pureed, in tart’s, and even in muffin’s and cakes! Suddenly it seemed it was so in vogue!! How come I never noticed this awesome vegetable before? Whats wrong with me?

And guess what! It’s one of those power foods, high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and beta carotene. I’m sure by now all of you have tried this versatile vegetable, but in case you haven’t, go out and get some, please! You won’t be disappointed.

Which brings me to this lasagna I made over the weekend. I have to admit Hubby wasn’t all that excited when I told him I was making a butternut squash lasagna. He gave me a look like, “Huh.” He’s typically a lasagna purist with the red sauce, but I knew he would love this, and he did!

After searching on the Internet and picking bits and pieces of different recipes I came up with this. I liked the idea of garlic in the sauce, but I thought roasted garlic would make the flavor even more intense, and as it turned out I think it really made the whole dish!

I roasted the garlic a day ahead, as I knew I was going to make this. It also calls for no -boil lasagna, which I’m still of the old school boil kind, and I’m not convinced I like them yet. They are very convenient and fast though. Here I used the Barilla brand. What are your thoughts on no- boil ??

About 3lbs. of peeled, seeded, squash in 1/2 in. slices
2 Heads of Roasted Garlic
1 Box of No-Boil Lasagna
Parmesan Cheese around 1 1/2 cups
Bechemal Sauce
First, you need to roast your squash in a hot oven at 425 degrees. till tender. Make sure you drizzle it with olive oil, salt and pepper. It will probably take about 25 mins.
In the meantime make a pot of bechemel by melting 1/4 to 1/2 cup of butter and then mixing in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour, keep whisking, then squeeze in your roasted garlic, add salt and black pepper.
Pour about 5 cups of milk in and whisk till thick. When squash is cooked, stir it into the sauce along with the rosemary ( about 1 tbl.) and half of the Parmesan cheese.
IMPORTANT TIP HERE:I would have liked to had a little more sauce, the noodles soaked it up as it cooked, so you might want to make more. Next time I will.
Reduce oven temp to 375F. Layer it like you would any lasagna. Spray your baking dish, layer the noodles, and spread the sauce mixture all over, and sprinkle with cheese. Continue layering till done. Sprinkle more cheese on top. Cover with foil. Bake around 35 to 40 mins. Uncover and cook till golden brown.
The roasted garlic sauce infused with rosemary, complimented the squash so well, it was heavenly!
Buon Appetito!!