Fall is here and that means squash is everywhere. So many different kinds but butternut squash is one of my favorites. I experimented with Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna and since then, I’ve made a few changes of my own. This recipe is great to serve for a dinner party, or even to have for lunch leftovers. If you want the original recipe, I’ll post a link at the end of this blog post. But for the moment, here’s my version.
1Tbsp olive oil
1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4c all-purpose flour
3 1/2c low-fat milk
3/4c (tightly packed) fresh basil leaves
1c fresh basil leaves, chopped
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2c shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
Add the squash in a heavy large pot full of boiling water. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender – it’ll take about 20-30 minutes. Spoon out the squash and let it cool for 5 minutes. Add to food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg and mix well. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender. Add the 3/4 of the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat to 375 degrees F. Spread a ladle of the sauce in a baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread a little squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Drizzle some more sauce over the noodles. In the second layer, sprinkle the cup of chopped basil. Continue layering and top with mozarella cheese.
Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I found that this makes the sauce not bubble over and the flavors are so much more vibrant. Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with some fresh basil.
*Here is the link to the original recipe by Giada de Laurentiis: Butternut Squash Lasagna