I married a lasagna genius. I’m not kidding. It was one of those things that won me over 18 years ago – the man can make a lasagna out of anything and it’s always amazing. (Not only has it always been amazing, but since in the beginning we lived together in this semi-legal loft space, he did it in a toaster oven from the 70s.) It takes everything we have + the knowledge that it will be better the next day to not to just gobble it down.
Recently, on a particularly cold and miserable day, Marv announced that he felt like cooking something and asked me what to make. I yelled, “LASAGNA!” He asked what should be in it and after thinking about it for a second I said, “butternut squash.” He informed me that I was crazy and wandered down his own road making a more traditional lasagna.
But I can not be deterred. On New Year’s Eve a friend of mine compared me to Letitia Cropley and I intend to live up to that! (Or, rather, just short of that.) Besides, I want butternut squash lasagna – substituting squash slices for pasta. First I was thinking gorgonzola for cheese – but I’m mellowing it to aged gouda.
1 butternut squash
chicken sausage (optional)
onions, lightly sauteed
shitake mushrooms, lightly sauteed
chineese broccoli, brocolini, or spinach, lightly sauteed unless you’re using spinach
2 T rice flour
2 c whole milk
1 leek, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
a bit more balsamic vinegar
ricotta, marscapone or cottage cheese
I chose squash with a long top because I figured it would be easier to make noodles out of.
Preheat oven to 425. Peel and cut the butternut squash into thin slices. Place squash down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (This will be done in separate batches.) Cook for about 5 minutes – turn squash slices over and cook for another 5 minutes. (You could also oil the pan and cook them that way. Seemed like more cleaning than I wanted to do at the time.) When slices are done, they should be soft and bendy but not mushy. Place them in some sort of flat container where they won’t break and cover. Start on next batch.
While the squash is cooking, do your sauteeing and start your milk sauce. You can start with sauteeing the leek and garlic in a bit of olive oil or butter or pan steam in a bit of broth.
To make the milk sauce I put the rice flour in a pan over medium heat and added in some milk to make a paste, then added in the rest of the milk and brought it to almost a boil. Reduce heat to low and add in
leek, clove, cloves garlic, salt, and nutmeg. Cover and let steep for 20 – 30 mins. Add in onion powder, white pepper, balsamic vinegar, worshireshire sauce, more salt, parmesan cheese, a bit more balsamic vinegar and pepper.
Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of squash, then spinach, vegetables, sauce, squash, spinach, vegetables, sausage, cottage or ricotta cheese, squash, sauce & cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until browned. Let rest for 10 minutes and enjoy! Yea!