Butternut Squash Lasagna

Two things have made me a very happy camper today: 1) a HA-UGE snowstorm is headed our way, promising a snow day full of movies and cooking and hot chocolate and snow forts and doing good deeds by shoveling out the driveways of strangers and 2) I got this squash lasagna recipe right last night and I can’t wait to share it with you!

The original recipe comes from Health-Bent, and while I usually love their recipes, this one wasn’t one of my favorites. The pizza sauce was too sweet for me and I wanted more veggies. So, after a bit of tinkering (and getting over my recent aversion to using my mandoline), here’s my revised recipe. I like it better than real lasagna, but I’ve never been one with Garfield in my affection for the stuff, so you can decide for yourself. It was also my first time trying this tomato sauce and holy moly I can’t wait to use it in more dishes. It lets those little sweet tomatoes really shine. *sigh* Hope you enjoy it!

photo 1Butternut Squash Lasagna, adapted from Health-Bent’s version

Ingredients

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 12oz bag or bunch curly spinach (baby spinach would work too)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced into planks
  • 1 recipe of simple tomato sauce — recipe below — or about 4 cups of your favorite

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. In a skillet, crumble the sausage and brown it, along with the onion.
  2. While that’s going, prep your squash. I found the lasagna turned out best when I used a mandoline to slice my squash into 1/8” planks (since thinly sliced squash better mimicked the texture of lasagna noodles), though you can do this with a sharp knife, too.
  3. When the sausage is browned, add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add spinach to the skillet and toss with the sausage mixture until it cooks down. If it doesn’t all fit at once, just keep adding it in batches until it’s all wilted.
  5. Using a 9×9 oven-safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up, trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy. Let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.

Simple Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions, adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking. Check out photos here!

  • 28 ounces (1 large can) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter from grass-fed cows (Kerrygold is a good brand)
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • Salt to taste (Canned tomatoes may contain salt. Mine was plenty salty without adding any, so taste first!)

Put the tomatoes, onion, and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, and add salt to taste if necessary. You can puree if you like a smooth tomato sauce.

photo 3

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3 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Lasagna

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