Hello all–I know you’re maybe thinking ahead to Christmas (we put up our tree last night–all those beloved, slightly tattered ornaments coming out of boxes– love it!), but I wanted to send out one more Thanksgiving-ish recipe before it’s all sugar cookies and Christmas hams.
My extended family meet up for Thanksgiving the weekend ahead. We don’t do turkey. We’ll all have turkey with other in-laws on Thanksgiving day. This year it was a couple kinds of lasagna. And I like this veggie laden version–cheesy and a bit sweet from the butternut squash. It was a fine Thanksgiving meal at the table with my mom and assorted nieces and nephews… (and we did finish off with pumpkin pie!)
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SPINACH LASAGNA
1 smallish butternut squash
3 tab. olive oil
garlic salt & freshly ground pepper
4 cups shredded spinach leaves
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup parmesan romano
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
9 no-cook lasagna noodles (Barilla is good)
1 cup parmesan romano
1 cup ricotta
2 cups mozzarella
Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Then chop it into smallish chunks. In a bowl mix the butternut squash chunks with 3 tablespoons olive oil, a few shakes of garlic salt and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet and scrape the oil out of bowl over the squash. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until the squash just starts to brown around the edges.
While that’s cooking, wash and dry the spinach leaves, remove stems and cut them to shreds.
To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet and then stir in the flour and parmesan before it browns. Stir in the milk 1/2 cup at a time with a whisk to reduce lumps. Continue until all the milk is combined and then simmer on low 3 or 4 minutes more until the sauce sauce thickens. Add salt as needed (I did 1/2 tsp.)
When the squash is cooked, put the lasagna together in a 9″x 13″ making dish. Start by coating the bottom of the dish with about 1/2 cup of the white sauce. Lay down 3 of the noodles and then layer on 1/3 of the spinach, 1/3 of the squash, 1/3 of the ricotta dropped in little dollops across the pan, 1/3 of the white space, 1/3 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the parmesan.
Repeat that layering 2 more times to make 3 equal layers. Cover the baking dish with foil (not touching the top of the lasagna). Bake it covered 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove the foil and bake 5 or 10 minutes more until the top in nicely browned.
Let the lasagna sit 10 minutes to meld together before cutting into it. Enjoy it hot and savory!!