Brown Butter and Roasted Squash Lasagna

By • January 18, 2010 • 15 Comments

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Author Notes: Recipes that require inattention are perfect for the absent-minded cook (me). I tried a vegetarian lasagna recipe using two techniques that require just leaving something for a while to cook properly. The first is roasted butternut squash. The second is browned butter. I have to confess that I had to play with the amount of water I added during assembly and baking because of the no-boil lasagna noodles. If you pre-boil your noodles or use fresh noodles, the extra additions of the water are probably not necessary. Let me know what you find!monkeymom

Serves 10-12

Getting the veggies ready

  • 1 butternut squash
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 shitake mushrooms
  1. Peel and dice the squash into 1/2 in cubes. Toss with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.
  2. Roast squash cubes at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, opening the oven and tossing them about with a large spatula once or twice. This part is nice, because I can leave the veggies in the oven to get nicely colored and carmelized on the edges and corners with minimal attention. The roasting really concentrates the flavors and gives the squash a nice bite. Set this aside.
  3. Separately, saute onions and mushrooms with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms slightly browned. Set this aside too.

Brown-butter Bechamel and Assembly

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 cups milk
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3/4 pound shredded mozzarella
  • pinenuts (optional)
  1. Melt and brown butter. This does takes a few minutes of attention to make sure it doesn't become overly burned. Remove from heat and let cool a couple of minutes.
  2. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and let stir to develop some garlicky aroma.
  3. Put back onto a burner with medium heat. Add 4 Tbsp of flour and use a wire whisk to quickly move the mixture around to cook the flour for 5 minutes or so.
  4. Add about 3 cups of milk very slowly with lots of whisking. Add a bay leaf.
  5. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes until it thickens up. Add more milk or some chicken stock if it is getting too thick.
  6. Add some salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. The bechamel is done. Be sure to remove that bay leaf. Set the bechamel aside.
  7. Mix ricotta with about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup of water to loosen it up. Don't skimp on the salt in this step otherwise the final product will feel bland. You can feel free to add some parsley, basil, or sage to this as well. Set aside.
  8. Assembly into a 9x13in square pan.
  9. Start with a few spoonfuls of Bechamel. Add about 1/4 cup of water to help soften no-boil noodles.
  10. Add a layer of noodles.
  11. Add half of mushroom mix and half of roasted butternut squash.
  12. layer with 1/3 of bechamel.
  13. layer with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese.
  14. Add another noodle layer
  15. add ricotta mixture and rest of mushrooms and squash. Overly this with some bechamel and add another 1/4 cup of water for the no-boil noodles.
  16. add another noodle layer
  17. add rest of bechamel and mozzarella
  18. sprinkle top with additional parmesan cheese and a generous sprinkling of pinenuts.
  19. Covered tightly with some foil sprayed some canola oil or SPAM.
  20. Into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  21. Take off the foil. If the noodles are still looking very dry add about 1/2 cup of water over the top.
  22. Cook another 20 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.
Jump to Comments (15)

Tags: fall, savory, serves a crowd

Comments (15) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago Juliann Downs

Blue cheese would be a great addition to this lasagna! I think i am going to try it out.

Smallerwhitandaxel

about 2 years ago Whitney GB

I made this tonight as a test run for Christmas Eve. We usually have squash ravioli in a sage brown butter, but I wanted to see if I could do something about all that last minute prep with the ravioli. This dish definitely has potential, but I would do a few things differently. First - I didn't have enough butternut squash which made the dish seem heavy on the white stuff. I bought a package of frozen squash, but i plan to go with fresh for the holiday. If you want to do frozen, get 2-3 packages. I fried sage in the brown butter, which gave it a nice flavor, and then I added the fried sage to the ricotta mixture. I neglected completely to throw the raw garlic into the butter. Instead, I sauteed it and added it to the onion mixture. I don't think the flavor came through as it could have. I also didn't do the bay leaf (bc of the sage), but I think that was also a mistake. I think I will go for the fresh, thick lasagna sheets I can get from my local grocer to make the pasta really do some work. I added pinenuts on top, which I thought added a nice touch, but I might toast them a bit first as they don't toast in the oven. Finally, this dish begs for some truffle salt. Can't wait to see how it turns out next time!

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almost 3 years ago ltaliaf

Made this for Christmas dinner! Added some fresh thyme and sage and it was a huge hit!

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over 3 years ago mommysinthekitchen

why would you ruin a nice vegetarian recipe by coating the foil with spam?
tee hee!
this is baking right now--can't wait for tonight's meal!

Christine-28_small(1)

about 4 years ago cheese1227

Brown butter bechamel -- now that is a fabulous concept. Oh the places you could go with that!

Title01

over 4 years ago Teri

This sounds divine! I'm going to try it with kabocha (Japanese pumpkin). Yum.

Girl_dog

almost 5 years ago agamom

Saturday morning, clean kitchen, and everyone asleep....what to do....make this rich, tasty lasagna of course! My husband decided the roasted squash was perfect for breakfast and I had to hide it until I could incorporate it into the dish. Did not have an onion handy so used several shallots instead - divine with the shitake mushrooms. We refrigerated the made-lasagna until dinner and invited friends at the last minute. Received rave reviews! Very rich, though, and a green leafy salad is a must as a side dish - in fact, probably should make the lasagna the side and have a huge plate of greens. I did not use the no-boil lasagna and added no additional water and it was perfect. Also, we didn't have enough mozzarella on hand so I mixed about half mozzarella and half grated sharp cheddar. Toasted the pine nuts before putting on top - delicious!

Monkeys

almost 5 years ago monkeymom

How cool is that! I'm so glad to hear that you tried this and it turned out well. I also always find that bechamel based baked pastas (with all that cheese!) are rich...but satisfying. Thanks for posting on the outcome!

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almost 5 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

The browned butter in this sounds like a great flavor!

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almost 5 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Brilliant recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

Girl_dog

almost 5 years ago agamom

This sounds delicious and we will be having it for dinner tonight! I am curious as to why you chose to cube the squash instead of cutting it in half and roasting it (as that requires a lot less effort). Is it for texture? Perhaps we will have it twice this week - one made each way! The mushrooms sound heavenly with the squash too.

Monkeys

almost 5 years ago monkeymom

Yes, indeed. Roasting the squash in cubes gives each a really nice caramelized texture and some bite. I think that roasting the whole squash makes for a much more mushy texture. I have also added roasted zucchini as well and it also caramelizes very nicely. The roasting really concentrates the flavors. Please let me know how it turns out!

Me

almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I love the flavor of browned butter in a bechamel sauce - I did the same thing for my entry. It really adds some great depth to it! Great marriage with the butternut squash too. I'll have to try yours too - thanks for posting.

Monkeys

almost 5 years ago monkeymom

Your brussel sprout recipe sounds so good! I will definitely try it as well!

Me

almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much!!