The Millennial Chef

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

Butternut Squash Mixture-

1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed in 1 inch pieces (or 2 packages of peeled, diced, butternut squash cubes about 20 ounces each)

6-7 sage leaves

1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese

1 splash of heavy cream, about a tablespoon

Salt and pepper to taste

Ricotta/Spinach Mixture-

12 ounces ricotta cheese

2 cups of fresh spinach

3 cloves of minced garlic

Extra virgin olive oil

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

Bechamel-

4 tablespoons of salted butter

4 tablespoons of flour

2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of dried mustard

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

2 packages of lasagna noodles (or no boil works too), 2 pounds total

1 cup of Parmesan cheese

1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese

Serving Size- 8-10

Directions:

  1. Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. You are going to use this pot to boil your butternut squash AND your lasagna noodles in. Salt the water and add in your butternut squash cubes. Cook these until they are practically falling apart, about 15 minutes. You are going to puree this, so the softer the better. If you are using frozen, they'll only need 5-10 minutes.
  2. While the squash is boiling, make your ricotta/spinach mixture. Add in 12 ounces of ricotta cheese to a bowl. Then, saute your garlic and spinach in a little olive oil for about 3-5 minutes. This is a quick cook! Remove from the pan and do a rough chop of the spinach. Add the spinach and garlic to the bowl with the ricotta and combine. Let the spinach cool for a minute and then add in your egg, and a teaspoon or so of salt and pepper. Combine, taste for seasonings, and set aside.
  3. Next make your bechamel. In the same pan you cooked your spinach, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle in your flour. Whisk the flour into the butter and cook for 1-2 minutes on low heat, or until that raw flour taste is cooked out. Then, slowly add in your milk. Whisk the entire time you are pouring your milk in. Bring the pan up to a high heat. Continue whisking until the mixture is thick. Then, turn off the heat, and add in nutmeg, dried mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Next, quickly fry your sage leaves in a little canola oil. This will take only a minute or so. Then, remove, and set aside. Next, remove the squash from the water, but leave the water in the pot. Continue to boil the water. You will be boiling your lasagna sheets in this water. Add in the squash to a blender or food processor, whatever you have, and add in your crispy sage, mascarpone cheese, a splash of heavy cream, and a little salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasonings, and set aside.
  5. Add your lasagna noodles to the pot of water your squash was in, and cook according to package instructions. Drain and rinse so you are able to handle the pasta and it doesn't stick.
  6. Now it's time to assemble! Take out a 13x9x2 baking dish. Place your bechamel and butternut squash mixture down on the bottom of the pan, enough to cover the bottom and some. You don't want the lasagna to stick. Then, place your lasagna noodles on top, probably 4 sheets. Next, put a 1/4 cup of the butternut squash mixture first, then the ricotta mixture, then a drizzle of bechamel and finish with with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese! It's hard to give an exact amount of each, but overall, the more you have in each layer, the better. Don't skimp here! Continue the steps until the final layer is your lasagna noodles. Then, top with a hefty layer of mozzarella cheese.
  7. You can make this the day ahead of your holiday, cover with tin foil and leave over night in the fridge!  When you are ready to eat it, preheat your oven to 375, and cook for 40 minutes with tin foil on, then take the foil off and cook for another 15 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly! Garnish with more fresh sage leaves and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and enjoy this decadent dish!

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