Sunday, January 1, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna: Take 3

Yes, I have tried many, many recipes for Butternut Squash Lasagna.  This is my all-time favorite.  In fact, I wish that I were eating it right now!

We tried this recipe at my mom's house when everyone was home for Thanksgiving.  It was so good, that I put it on our dinner menu the very next week.

{Butternut Squash Lasagna}
adapted from
1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh sage plus 1 tsp. chopped leaves
1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1-1/4 cups crumbled fresh goat cheese (4 oz.)
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (2 oz.)
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs or panko
15 lasagna noodles
Roast the squash and garlic
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
Dice the squash and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle on 1 minced garlic clove and 1 tsp of thyme. Drizzle with 2 tsp. of the oil and, then, season with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast until the squash is browned in spots and very tender when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 50 minutes.  You can begin checking around 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Scoop the squash, thyme and garlic into a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Make a goat cheese and sage sauceMelt 4 Tbs. of the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the sage sprigs and cook until the butter is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the sage. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese, 1/2 cup of the pecorino, the nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Set aside 1-1/2 cups of the sauce and mix the rest with the mashed squash.
Season the breadcrumbsMelt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in a small skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, chopped sage, chopped thyme, a pinch of salt, and few grinds of pepper. Add the melted butter and mix well.
Assemble and bake the lasagneSpread 1/2 cup of the reserved cheese sauce over the bottom of a 9x13x3-inch baking dish. Cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of cooked noodles, cutting them as needed to fill any gaps. Spread 1 cup of the squash mixture evenly over the noodles. Add another layer of noodles and repeat the layers as instructed above, to make a total of 4 squash layers and 5 pasta layers. Spread the remaining 1 cup cheese sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup pecorino.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the roasted squash mixture up to 1 day ahead of assembling the lasagna.
You can assemble the lasagne up to 2 days ahead of baking it. Tightly wrap the baking dish in plastic and refrigerate it. Let the lasagne come to room temperature before baking it.


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