Recipes

Oct 17, 2012 7:43 PM

Let's Make a Meal: Butternut Squash Lasanga

TUCSON - Today on Let's Make a Meal, our food contributor, Jennifer English, stopped by with another recipe for comfort food perfect for fall: Butternut Squash Lasagna.

Here's what she had to say:

"I am not normally swayed by such things. But I read this recipe from Chow.com and was seduced into making it. It is delicious and comforting. Please credit Chow.com with the recipe. I will make the bechamel sauce in the studio and we can each make a pan of this on set ( you can take & bake yours).

"It is time for a Comfort Food Update.

"Butternut squash is one of the members of the American thanksgiving culinary "Royal Family" albeit a lesser prince of a side dish versus the King Turkey & Queen dressing. I love butternut squash for the vibrancy of color flavor and nutrition. Don't wait until Thanksgiving to bring those "flesh" colored gourds home. They are in the market now and are in season for both affordability and flavor. This recipe is embodiment of Comfort Food. But this recipe is an update. If it is as big a success on your dinner table as mine, maybe it might join your Thanksgiving tradition 2012 too!"

INGREDIENTS

• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (about 3 cups)
• 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice (about 5 cups)
• 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
• 1/3 cup water
• Béchamel Sauce (warmed)
• 1 (9-ounce) box par-cooked lasagna noodles
• 1/4 cup unsweetened chestnut purée, such as Clement Faugier (about 3 ounces)
• 4 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese (about 6 ounces)
• 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3/4 ounce)
• 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the top third.
2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When it begins to smoke, add mushrooms and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and crispy at the edges, about 4 minutes. Stir in squash and cook, stirring frequently, until squash is browned. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add water and stir, scraping up any browned bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
3. Spread 1/4 cup of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles, breaking the noodles as necessary to fit them in an even layer. Evenly spread half of the vegetable mixture over the pasta.
4. Pour 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce evenly over the vegetables. Dot half of the chestnut purée over top. Cover the vegetables with a layer of grated fontina cheese and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano (use about a third of each). Repeat with another layer of noodles, the remaining squash mixture, 1/2 cup béchamel, the remaining chestnut purée, another third of the fontina, all of the Gorgonzola, and about another third of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Finish with a last layer of noodles and the remaining béchamel sauce, fontina cheese, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
5. Cover the baking dish well with aluminum foil. (You can prepare this recipe ahead and refrigerate for up to 1 day; allow to come to room temperature before baking.) Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until the top is brown and the noodles are completely tender, about 10 minutes more. Allow the lasagna to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Here's the recipe for the Bechamel sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper


Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown - about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.

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