Oh, how can anyone not simply love butternut squash? Sure, it takes a bit of care, but it can even be purchased ready to steam these days at Trader Joe’s. Somehow, my family does not yet appreciate the joys of butternut squash. Surely this would be the remedy.
Results? I had pretty much the whole thing to myself at home. When sharing this dish with Renee’s family, they politely said they liked it. But, their 13 year old son coming back for 3rds was proof that other butternut squash lovers do exist in this universe!
This was made from Giada deLaurentiis’ recipe. Straight up. Using only 3 of those lovely Amaretto cookies seemed a shame, until the family quickly snacked them up with no complaints. Yes, we have the traditional wide noodles. Between them are a lovely milky roux with fresh basil (hence the hint of green) and steamed and pureed butternut squash. Somehow, both sweet and savory flavors come though.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 amaretti cookies, crumbled
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- Pinch nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.
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 to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender*. Add 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.
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.
Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.
- Honestly, I burned the first batch of butternut squash. Medium heat? Which medium? On the power burner, medium burner, or simmer burners? Low and slow is what you need here.
- Couldn’t find no boil noodles in my discount grocer, so just got the dry noodles and cooked them al dente.
- This makes a great little breakfast snack. (really)