April's StoryRich, warm layers of lightly sweet butternut squash, creamy ricotta, caramelized onions and vibrant greens nestled between sheets of tender pasta with zesty marinara and mozzarella on top.
Call this one serendipity. I bought a huge butternut squash at a farm stand and had to decide what to do with it all. I baked it last night by slicing it in half, removing the seeds, placing cut side down in a pan and baking at 350 until it was tender. It was a monster, and it took a bit over an hour. Then I peeled and mashed it. Searching for recipes that use squash I found several for butternut squash lasagna featuring a fat-laden creamy white sauce. I prefer lasagna to have marinara, so here’s my take on it.
I obviously didn’t spend much time making the picture pretty – if you could experience how good this smells you wouldn’t waste time making it pretty before devouring it either!
frozen spinach, thawed and drained
small tub part skim ricotta cheese
fat free cottage cheese
roasted and mashed butternut squash
reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, sugar and salt.
2Cook until slightly transparent, about 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Continue cooking another 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden.
3Add spinach to onions.
4Combine ricotta, cottage cheese and egg in a small bowl. Set aside.
5Prepare your pasta by package directions.
6Set the oven to 375 to preheat. Begin to assemble your lasagna. The layers are:
7a. Pour a small amount of marinara in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pain.
b. Spread a layer of noodles, overlapping slightly.
c. Add a layer of butternut squash, by dropping spoonfuls then smoothing them.
d. Another layer of noodles.
e. Ricotta mixture, using the same method as the squash.
f. Another layer of noodles.
g. Spinach and caramelized onions.
h. Final layer of noodles.
k. Sprinkle over some Parmesan.
8Cover loosely with foil, trying to tent it up so it doesn’t touch the cheese. Bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake 30 more. Let cool 20 minutes or so before cutting, to help keep it from falling apart when you serve it. It will firm up and set as it cools.