I found this recipe via pinterest a few days ago and knew instantly I HAD to try it! We love butternut squash around here and have been having plenty of it lately, usually at least once a week, as it is in season and we can get it locally from a farmer for cheaper than we can get it in the store (shipped from Mexico).
The original recipe can be found here at Cheeky Kitchen. I pretty much followed it with a few minor alterations. You know I just can’t leave a recipe alone.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
3 medium butternut squash, baked and mashed (I used whole butternut squash rather than pre-cut, though I did see that at Sam’s for the first time the other day which would make this super simple. But my way is easy too;)).
salt (I used sea salt) & pepper (freshly-ground) to taste
2-15 ounce tubs of ricotta cheese
10 ounces fresh spinach, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups italian cheese mix, divided
For the arugula topping:
3 cups arugula (I also couldn’t find straight arugula. Our local farmer didn’t have any, I harvested the last of mine from the garden a couple of weeks ago, and all Wal-mart had was an organic arugula spinach mix-which is what I used).
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar (or white cooking wine)
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the butternut squash and poke several times with a knife. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350-400 degree oven for about an hour, or until you can poke a fork into it and it is soft all the way through.
Allow squash to cool, then simply slice open, scoop out and discard the seeds and then scoop out the flesh and mash up. See? Easy, peasy. (This is how we usually eat it during the week-with a little butter and brown sugar mixed in.) Yum!
Add to your mashed butternut squash the olive oil and 6 cups of the italian cheese with salt and pepper (fresh-cracked is especially yummy in this recipe).
In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, spinach, sage, and garlic. I doubled the amounts of the original recipe because I wanted a third layer of this mixture on top if the noodles.
Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lay three lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread one-third of the ricotta and spinach mixture on top of the noodles. Spread one-third of the cheesy butternut mixture on top of that. Use the same procedure to add two more layers. Top with the remaining 2 cups of italian cheese
Bake in an oven preheated to 350-400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown and the lasagna is bubbling.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. You can mix the arugula into the dressing but I chose to keep them separate to keep the greens from wilting in case there were leftovers-and there were!
While this isn’t a meal I will put on my regular rotation, simply because of the time and cost involved (lasagna is never cheap), I will definitely make it again, especially in the fall and winter. This made A LOT, especially since it is just me and the kiddos, so we had lots of leftovers. The kids did get tired of it after the third night. But it was definitely a yummy, unique and interesting addition to our dinner-as-usual routine.
And, as an added bonus, proof that my kitchen does get messy and doesn’t always look like it did when I showed it to you a couple of weeks ago.
Do you have any original recipes/ideas for using butternut squash? Share them in the comments!