Monday, December 27, 2010

Snacember 27

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
3 shallots
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.

More noodles, the rest of the béchamel then the shredded mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil.

Refrigerate for up to two days if you like, or bake immediately in a 350 oven for 45 minutes. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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,
The Polymath


  1. I love love LOVE butternut squash lasagne, but it never occured to me to use a bechamel sauce. I can't wait to give this a try. It would save a few hours from roasting tomatoes!

  2. Mmmmmm... Looks delicious! What wine did you have with it?

    P.s. The Baggu bags were a hit as gift wrap! Everyone was thrilled. I also took your recommendation about salt and pepper grinders and got a set for my own charming fiancé - another great suggestion!

  3. my lord, that looks decadent and delicious!

  4. Made this for dinner this evening - it's the perfect comfort food while we're snowed in with relatives in Brooklyn (and fancy enough that it helped to repay the excellent hospitality that we're receiving). It was a big hit with everyone here, but we were also inspired to suggest some modifications. We recently discovered that butternut squash and Italian sausage were a delightful combination, so were thinking of adding that. Maybe some fresh sage too (we were thinking of combinations that you see in butternut squash ravioli). Any thoughts?

  5. wow! this is definitely my kind of dish. the whole squash, cheese and nutmeg combo is one of my all time favorites and it is great how you incorporated them into this amazing looking lasagna.

    I definitely have to give this a shot! Thanks for sharing the recipe :-)