Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna with Sage and Caramelized Onions and Pears

Squash filling:

·         4-5 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (1 very large or 2 medium squashes)  (Note: Canned pumpkin puree can also be substituted for  or used in addition to the squash puree in this recipe for a pumpkin lasagna.)

·         4 tablespoons olive oil

·         4 tablespoons brown sugar

·         Salt and pepper

·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces

·         1 egg, lightly beaten

·         1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

·         2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus more sage leaves for garnish

·         ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Cheese mixture:

·         1 container (16 ounces) low-fat, small curd cottage cheese

·         2 cups part-skim grated mozzarella cheese, divided

·         2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

·         2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

Caramelized pears and onions:

·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter

·         2 pears, cored and thinly sliced

·         1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced

·         Salt and pepper

 

Noodles:

·         1 pound lasagna noodles (regular or no-boil)

·         Olive oil

·         Salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil.  Drizzle the squash halves with olive oil and season with brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Roast squashes, cut side up, for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until tender.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Scoop the squash flesh from the skins and puree in a food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add the butter, egg, parmesan cheese, sage and nutmeg, and whisk until smooth.  Season with more salt and pepper if needed.  Set aside. (Note:  The squash puree can be made a day in advance.)

In a separate bowl, combine the cheese mixture ingredients, reserving half the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to sprinkle on top of the lasagna.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Add the sliced pears and onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until browned and caramelized, 20-30 minutes.  Set aside.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the instructions on the package (unless you’re using no-boil noodles).  Lay a few kitchen towels on the counter and place wire racks on top of the towels.  Lightly spray the racks with non-stick spray.  Carefully transfer the cooked noodles to the wire racks.  Brush one side of the noodles with olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Turn noodles over and repeat on the other side.

You’re ready to assemble your lasagna!  Preheat the oven to 350, and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

 

Assembly steps:

1.       Spread 1 cup of the squash puree on the bottom of the pan.

2.       Add a layer of noodles, slightly overlapping, cutting them to fit as needed.  Top with 2 cups squash puree, half of the caramelized onions and pears and half of the cheese mixture.

3.       Repeat step 2.

4.       Lay down a third layer of noodles.  Spread with 1 – 1 ½ cups squash puree.  Sprinkle with the reserved 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup parmesan.

 

Thoroughly spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray (so that the cheese doesn’t stick to the foil while baking).  Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.  Uncover, garnish with sage leaves, and bake for another 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Yields 10-12 servings.

Comments