When I was on my maternity leave with Joe, I loved nothing more than having my 1st born son sleep in my arms.  I would feed him & we would enjoy our peaceful little home and I would rock him to sleep and just let him snooze in my arms.  Yep!  I was & still am that mom.  Dirty dishes pile up, wet clothes in the washer have to be washed again because I always forget to move them to the dryer, voicemails don’t get returned… you know the drill.  Everything just stopped in my life during that maternity leave & my newborn son was my world.

During those peaceful naps when I was holding my baby, I would often watch The Food Network.  I look back now & recognize those naps as a crucial turning point in MY life & what has become my career.  I learned SO much about cooking!  And for the first time ever, I was using recipes to become inspired… not to duplicate!  I encourage you to do the same.  Read recipes & think “how can I change this to make it my own?”  As a tired new mom, I was often thinking “how can I make this easier?”

One of my favorite Food Network stars is Giada.  She’s beautiful, her food always looks delicious, and I just love how she pronounces mascarpone cheese!  Joe was about 8 days old & taking a nap in my arms when I saw an episode of her making a butternut tortellini. Here’s my (easier) take on it & I think it’s perfect for Thanksgiving.  Or maybe a great way to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers for those of you serving roasted squash???

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Butternut Lasagna
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Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Kid-Friendly, Pasta
Servings
Ingredients
Lasagna
  • 1 pkg lasagna noodles no-boil
  • 6 cups butternut squash diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 Biscoff cookies (almond crisps or gingersnaps will work too)
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese grated & divided
  • 2 cups fontina cheese grated & divided
  • 2 egg beaten
  • 2 lbs Italian sausage
  • 1 lb mushroom diced
  • 12 leaves sage diced (I use my kitchen scissors!)
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
Sage-Infused Brown Butter Béchamel Sauce
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup flour all-purpose
  • 8 cups milk
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
  • 4 leaves sage
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Kid-Friendly, Pasta
Servings
Ingredients
Lasagna
  • 1 pkg lasagna noodles no-boil
  • 6 cups butternut squash diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 Biscoff cookies (almond crisps or gingersnaps will work too)
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese grated & divided
  • 2 cups fontina cheese grated & divided
  • 2 egg beaten
  • 2 lbs Italian sausage
  • 1 lb mushroom diced
  • 12 leaves sage diced (I use my kitchen scissors!)
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
Sage-Infused Brown Butter Béchamel Sauce
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup flour all-purpose
  • 8 cups milk
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
  • 4 leaves sage
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
Lasagna
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Toss together diced butternut, olive oil & minced garlic – layer evenly on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with nutmeg and season with salt & pepper. Roast in preheated oven for approx 25 minutes. Squash is done when a slight caramelization/browning occurs & texture is very soft.
  2. While the squash is roasting, brown the sausage & diced mushrooms. Drain the grease & put the crumbled meat-mushroom mixture into a mixing bowl. Toss in the diced sage & set aside.
  3. Using a food processor or blender, puree the roasted butternut squash with the cookies. Mix in 1 cup of parmesan cheese, the fontina cheese, the ricotta cheese & the 2 eggs. Blend or mix well to fully incorporate.
  4. Prepare the Sage-Infused Brown Butter Béchamel Sauce (recipe follows) & assemble the lasagna as follows in a greased 13x9x3 pan: -Spread 1 cup Béchamel sauce over the bottom of the pan. -Layer in order: 4 no-boil lasagna noodles, slightly overlapped; 1/3 of the butternut ricotta; 1/2 of the meat-mushroom mixture; 1/2 cup of shredded fontina; 1 cup Béchamel sauce. -Next Layer: 4 no-boil lasagna noodles, slightly overlapped; 1/3 of the butternut ricotta; 1 cup Béchamel. -Next Layer: 4 no-boil lasagna noodles, slightly overlapped; remaining 1/3 of the butternut ricotta; remaining 1/2 of the meat-mushroom mixture; remaining 1/2 cup of shredded fontina; 1 cup Béchamel sauce. -Top Layer: 4 no-boil lasagna noodles, slightly overlapped; 2 cups Béchamel sauce; sprinkle remaining 1 cup of grated parmesan; sprinkle with nutmeg.
  5. Cover lasagna pan with foil & bake at 375 degrees for approx 45 minutes. Uncover & bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until top layer begins to brown.
Sage-Infused Brown Butter Béchamel Sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Allow it to boil, stirring constantly until the butter begins to brown. Reduce the heat & add the sage leaves. Stir for another 2-3 minutes to allow the sage flavor to infuse in the butter. Remove the sage & add the flour. Stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook for another 6 minutes, mixture will be a sandy brown color.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan, being careful to not reach a boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring mixture to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then completely remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use. Yields 6 cups.

butternut-blog

From my home with dirty dishes, neglected laundry & happy children to yours…. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

xoxo Produce Mom

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