Serves a Crowd

Butternut squash lasagna with bechamel

by:
January 17, 2010
Author Notes

This recipe developed after I discovered that butternut squash with goat cheese makes a marvelous pasta sauce, and after I made moussaka that had the best bechamel I'd ever made. One day I found myself with some extra butternut squash puree, and I began fiddling with assorted ingredients, having little idea where I'd eventually wind up. This wound up being it. It's a lot of work, but well worth it. —Kayb

  • Serves 8
Ingredients
  • For the lasagna
  • 1 pound fresh, or cooked, lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups butternut squash flesh, cooked
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces fresh ricotta or mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 1/2 cups bechamel (recipe follows)
  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach, sauteed
  • olive oil for sauteeing
  • Bechamel sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Saute onion in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft; add garlic and saute for another minute. Add butternut squash flesh and stir well; crumble goat cheese and stir into hot mixture over low heat until well melted. Set aside.
  2. If using spinach (or any other fresh greens), saute in olive oil until limp and set aside to cool. Break up and saute Italian sausage until done. Drain.
  3. To make bechamel, heat water and 3/4 cup cream to a near-boil. Meanwhile, stir cornstarch into remaining cream, whisking until there are no lumps, and beat egg into that mixture.
  4. Pour a little of the hot water-cream mixture into the cream/cornstarch/egg mixture, blend, and pour back into saucepan. Add nutmeg.
  5. Cook, stirring or whisking, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
  6. Put a scant 1/4 cup bechamel in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add in layers, lasagna noodles, half of squash mixture, half of spinach, half of sausage, half of ricotta or mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmigiano, and 3/4 cup bechamel. Repeat. Top with a layer of noodles, the remaining bechamel, and the remaining parmigiano.
  7. At this point, you can hold in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour, covering loosely with foil for first 30 minutes.
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I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!