Sunday, October 12, 2008

Butternut Squash Lasagna

As part of the dinner party of the disastrous doughnut adventure (see my previous post) I also made an entrée. Unlike the doughnuts, this was delicious. I based my lasagna on a recipe from epicurious, but I tweaked it significantly, mostly in adjusted the béchamel. I added a number of cloves of roasted garlic to the sauce, as well as a few other spices to give it kick. I also made one and a half times the original recipe for the sauce, as the comments suggested that the recipe as written didn’t provide enough. I had more than enough sauce making one and a half times the original, but the leftover is sitting in my fridge waiting to adorn a sandwich, so I’m certainly not considering it a waste.

Butternut squash, hazelnut, and roasted garlic lasagna

Makes on 9 x 13 dish

For squash filling
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup hazelnuts (4 oz), toasted, loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel, and coarsely chopped

For sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk 
5 cloves roasted garlic
2 bay leaves (not California) 
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper 
½ teaspoon smoked paprika 
½ teaspoon nutmeg 
Cayenne Pepper to taste

For assembling lasagne

¾  lb fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated (2 cups) 
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 oz)  
5 oz. Goat cheese, crumbled
12 (7- by 3 1/2-inch) sheets no-boil lasagne (1/2 lb)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sauté the onion in the butter until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, salt and the squash and sauté until squash is tender, 15-20 minutes. Put in a bowl and mix with the sage, parsley and nuts. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat melt the butter with the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the flour and whisk the roux for three minutes. Add the milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Turn the heat up to medium high, continue whisking. Let the milk come to a boil, and reduce the heat until the milk is just at a simmer. Add the roasted garlic and the remaining spices. Continue cooking, whisking constantly and being sure to scrape the bottom, for another 10 minutes.

3. Mix the parmesian, mozzarella, and goat cheese in a bowl. Pour ½ cup of the béchamel sauce into the bottom of a buttered, 9 x 13 baking dish. Place three noodles over the sauce, leaving spaces between them. Pour an additional 2/3 of a cup of the sauce over the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the filling over the sauce. Spread a quarter of the cheese mixture over the filling. Repeat the process two more times, beginning with the noodles. Once you have three layers, top the lasagna with the remaining three noodles. Cover the noodles in sauce (I would not recommend using the entire remainder, but feel free to be generous. Top the lasagna with the remaining cheese. At this point the lasagna can be refrigerated if not being used immediately.

4. Cover the lasagna with foil and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Serve hot.

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