Fall flavors are upon us. Come on, you know you love it! I do love the bounty that the summer provides, but I also love the flavors of Fall. And with it comes a bounty of squash. Big ones, and little ones and all the sizes and colors of the rainbow.
We were recently gifted about 10 lbs of Butternut squash. I am a huge fan. But I also looked at it once I got it in the kitchen and wondered what the heck I was going to do with all of it! Fear not. It's a lot more versatile that I first imagined. Sure it is great simply roasted, but it is also wonderful to use once it is pureed. You can make pie, breads, muffins, ravioli, and in this case, lasagna.
When I first mentioned to my daughter that I was making lasagna with it, she asked if it was going to be sweet. Valid question. Who's heard of sweet lasagna? Maybe a dessert lasagna? But the flavor is actually very subtly sweet, and not overpowering at all. It's very moist and filling. I only layered Mozzarella between the layers, but it would lend itself to a stronger flavored cheese as well. It would be especially good with a goat cheese, or a Gorgonzola.
I will definitely be making more of this to freeze and take out when we have after-school activities, or when I know I'll need something to pop into the oven in a hurry. It would also be a lovely meal to gift to a family!
Recipe follows the picture.
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
Feeds 5-6 (maybe more if your family don't eat very large portions)
- 2 small squash, peeled, cleaned, and chopped
- 1 lb bag of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 2 cups of grated Mozzarella
- 1 cup of Ricotta
- Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan, optional
Salt and Pepper your squash and douse with a little olive oil. Roast the butternut squash on a baking sheet for about 1 hour, or until fork tender.
Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with oil and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350.
When the squash has cooled slightly, add it to a blender with the ricotta, garlic and some salt to taste. Blend until smooth. Mix together with the chopped Spinach in a bowl. I didn't bother to drain the Spinach before mixing it together with the squash knowing that the pasta would absorb the moisture.
Start assembling the lasagna by placing about ½ cup of the squash and spinach filling in the bottom of the baking dish and spread it thinly to cover. Lay out a layer of the noodles, then ½ cup of the Mozzarella.
Spread about a cup of the filling on top of the cheese using a flat spatula. Repeat until you have filled the pan. Then put a layer of cheese on the top. (If you have leftover filling, save it and freeze it for another time!)
Last, I sprinkled some Parmesan on top.
Cover the lasagna with foil and place on a baking sheet, and into the oven for about an hour. During the last 15-20 minutes remove the foil if you like some color on your cheese.
Let rest for ten minutes before serving.