I LOVE butternut squash. I just wish my husband felt the same. I also loved caramelized onion and he does not. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I would love it but not him. While he was gone for a few days I decided to make it for some friends. We all loved it. I will make it again (when the husband is gone that is). This isn’t a quick recipe, more of a snow day type thing but it is worth the time and effort.
- 4 cups butternut squash, Silced 1/2 inch thick
- 16 oz spinach, washed and dried
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 lb lasagna strips (enough for three layers)
- 12 oz ricotta
- 3 balls buffalo mozzarella (or about 2-3 cups regular mozzarella)
- 1/2 cup grated parm (or any other hard cheese, I sometimes use gouda)
- chili flake
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup basil, julienned
- Olive oil
for the beschamel:
- 1 3/4 pints milk
- several sprigs of parsley
- 1/4 teaspon nutmeg
- 10 peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flake
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2/3 cup grated parm
Preheat oven to 425F. Drizzle the butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the butternut squash for about 35 minutes, or until soft and browned.
Meanwhile, over medium heat, saute the spinach in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add 2 minced cloves of garlic and a pinch of chili flake. It should be totally wilted. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
To caramelize the onions, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions with a big pinch of salt and cook down for about 30-40 minutes (just be patient, it’s worth it), until a dark brown. Halfway through add the remaining two cloves of minced garlic. Set aside.
Boil the lasagna noodles until just al dente (one minute before what the box says to cook it to). Set aside in a bowl of cool water (from the tap is fine).
Slice the mozzarella into 8 slices per ball.
For the beschamel:
Bring the milk and everything else except for the butter, flour, and pram to a simmer. In a separate sauce pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir until doughy and smelling a bit nutty (about one minute).
Strain in the milk about a half cup at a time, whisking to incorporate with the butter and flour mix. It should be smooth and velvety, not chunky or too thick. If it is, just add some more milk to thin it out. Add the parm and set aside.
Pre heat the oven to 375
In a pyrex dish, place a layer of noodles, a bit of the veg, the mozzarella, dot with a third of ricotta, add the basil, and cover with a 1/4 of the beschamel. Repeat three times, and finish with the remaining beschamel and grated parm.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbling. Turn the broiler on and bake for another 5 minutes, or until brown and crunchy on top. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Enjoy!