I love it when I get inspired at the grocery store to come up with an off-the cuff recipe. This one happened completely by chance.
I was in the produce section of Whole Foods and picked up a package of peeled butternut squash chunks for roasting, a favorite side dish at this time of year. Then I spotted some fresh sheets of pasta, and visions of lasagna began to float in my head. Charming Suitor is not much of a red-sauce guy, so I started imagining a blonde dish. I grabbed some ricotta.
At home, some shallots decided to join the party, and a quick bechamel poked its head up and before I knew it , this lasagna was born.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 medium fresh buffalo mozzarella balls, shredded
3 lbs butternut squash chunks
2 T canola oil
½ t sugar
¼ c grated parmagiano reggiano
Zest of one lemon
2 T chopped chives
Fresh lasagna noodles, 1 package (or regular lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions)
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Toss squash chunks and shallots in oil and place in one layer on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with the sugar, and salt and pepper. Roast until caramelized and tender, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Chop separately and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan, whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and let cook till thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a little bit of nutmeg. Set aside to cool slightly.
Mix ricotta with cream. Add in the chopped chives and chopped shallots and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once you like the flavor, blend in the egg yolks.
Put 1/2 of the ricotta on the bottom of your lasagna pan, followed by a layer of noodles. Put 1/2 of the béchamel on top of the noodles, followed by 1/2 the squash, sprinkle with the parmagiano.
Another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, then the rest of the squash.
For a variation, halve the squash and replace with chunks of another cooked vegetable like zucchini, kale, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes….whatever strikes your fancy!
Yours in Good Taste,