Squash and Spinach Lasagna

squash lasagna

I was looking through the October issue of Martha Stewart while flying home from Disney world. I had saved it just for the trip. Usually I race to the mailbox, make a cup of tea, grab my post it notes and make a night out of it. So it was tough to put it aside. But I was glad I had something to keep me busy on the flight.

Autumn is my most favorite time of year. I love the assortment of squashes and pumpkins you can find at the farms. They are so colorful and versatile and I was immediately drawn to the squash recipes in that issue. I proceeded to flag every single recipe in the article.

I decided to tackle the lasagna first because I dig layered food. Really, now who doesn’t love a good lasagna,trifle or seven layer dip for that matter. There are so many flavors all layered into one pretty, little, delicious package.

We Are Not Martha dished up another recipe from that article that I debated on trying. It was a toss-up. Looks like I’ll have to try it now though because it looks super delish and healthy. My new job frowns on yoga pants and Halloween hit me pretty hard.

Ok, back to lasagna.

Creamy, rich bechamel with bright, sweet autumn squash, earthy spinach and mild ricotta layered and topped with melted, savory Gruyere cheese was a perfect combination. A comforting Fall spin on an Italian classic dish.

Although there were quite a few ingredients, I was able to do all the prep work the day before assembling the dish. I roasted the squash and prepared the bechamel and filling (omitting the egg), then let each cool before refrigerating and storing in separate containers in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I mixed the egg into the filling, assembled and baked.

All in all it was actually pretty easy. And worth it. Honestly, no one else in the house enjoyed it. But any kind of vegetable sends them running for the hills. So don’t pay any attention to them.

I loved it! So more for me! Since even I can’t eat an entire lasagna, I cut it into individual servings and wrapped each and put in the freezer. I took it to work this morning and let it thaw in the fridge then heated it in the microwave and it was just as good, if not better than day one. SCORE!

INGREDIENTS

SQUASH

  • 1 medium butternut squash (3 1/4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

BECHAMEL

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, minced (1/2 cup)
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, plus more if necessary

FILLING

  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere (10 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg

LASAGNA

  • 1 pound lasagna noodles (12 sheets)
  • Coarse salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for baking sheet
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed well to remove excess liquid (1 1/4 cups packed)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, stir squash,  butter and salt and pepper to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on a baking large baking sheet. Roast until tender (approximately) 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven, place in a bowl and mash (not puree). Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

  2. Bechamel: Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine and boil 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer; cook 3 minutes. (You should have 4 cups; add more milk if necessary.)

  3. Filling: Stir together ricotta, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, and Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in egg.

  4. Lasagna: Cook noodles in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, gently stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 6 minutes (or according to package instructions). Drain. Rinse under cold water and lay noodles flat on a lightly oiled baking sheet to drain. (Do not let them touch.)

  5. Spread 1 cup bechamel in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange 4 noodles on top. Dot with one-third of filling. Spread with half of squash, then spinach. Spread 1 cup bechamel over spinach. Top with 4 more noodles, one-third of filling, remaining squash, 1 cup bechamel, and layer of remaining 4 noodles. Finish with remaining filling and bechamel. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere.

  6. Cover lasagna with parchment-lined foil and bake until heated through and bubbling at edges, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn oven to broil, remove foil, and broil until golden brown in spots and bubbling, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

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About Cluttercafe

Wife to a great guy. Mom to two active, wonderful kids. Full time working woman trying to keep it all together.
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