December 10, 2009 | Pasta & Pizza, Popular, Side Dishes, Vegetables
I’m back! welcome to the newly designed Cooking with MicheleÂ®blog and website! Poke around a bit and share any feedback with me, especially any bugs you find or if there are resources you’d like me to add. While my designer was working on the site, I was busy cooking, so here goes for my first post. I’ve been collecting squash from my farm, and have learned an important thing about it – I don’t really like squash unless it’s married up with some other flavors. This lasagna could be enhanced with other herbs and cheeses as you like to really amp up the flavors. Start by making a white sauce with a little flour, butter and milk.I got this whisk from Foodbuzz at the recent Festival and must say it’s the best for getting into corners on pots when you need to whisk.I like to add a little nutmeg to my white sauce, and whole nutmeg grated on a Microplane works best.While the white sauce is thickening, cook cubed butternut squash in boiling water and then puree it in the food processor. When the white sauce is thickened stir in a container of ricotta cheese to the white sauce – now you have cheese sauce! From there, it’s a simple lasagna building process.Whole wheat egg noodles on the bottom (you can use regular if you prefer), then butternut squash……then cheese sauce. Keep going until the top layer……where you’ll want to end with a generous layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake, then enjoy!
- 1½ pounds butternut squash, about 6 cups when cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk, whole or 2%
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese, whole milk or part skim
- 12 lasagna noodles, whole wheat or white, cooked al dente
- ½ pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Peel and cube butternut squash and cook in a large pot of boiling water until soft; puree in food processor and set aside. Heat butter and flour in a saucepan until it turns a slight golden brown; add milk, whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper, add nutmeg, and continue stirring until thickened. Stir in ricotta cheese until smooth. Layer 3 noodles on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Spread with ¼ of the butternut squash, then top with ¼ of the cheese sauce. Repeat for 3 more layers, then spread shredded mozzarella over the top and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 45 minutes.