Then I discovered no-boil lasagna noodles. This means that the dried noodles can be layered into the dish, and as long as you use a "saucy" sauce with enough liquid in it, the noodles cook as the lasagna bakes. In fact, because they cook in the sauce, they end up absorbing great flavor. And I can make lasagna on weeknights, which is very very exciting.
This is the 365 brand (store-brand of Whole Foods), in case anyone wants to know. They are thin noodles, and they fit perfectly into my baking dish- two to a layer.
Most butternut squash lasagna recipes call for pureeing the cooked squash, but I really wanted to bite into chunks of it, so I left it at that. The sauce here is a thin bechamel sauce (to allow enough liquid for the noodles to cook). Of course, one can use normal lasagna sheets (cook them first) and in that case, make a thicker sauce by cutting down on the milk.
Roasted Squash-Onion Lasagna
1 lb butternut squash slices (peel, cube, then slice)
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
2 T olive oil
6 to 8 no-boil lasagna sheets
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
4-5 T parmesan cheese
2.5 T butter
2.5 T flour
3 C milk
1. Preheat oven to 400F. On a baking sheet, place the onions and butternut squash slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bake the vegetables for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown.
2. Meanwhile, make bechamel sauce using the proportions given above and using the standard method (eg. this or this). Season with nutmeg and set aside.
3. Once the roasted vegetables and bechamel sauce are ready, the lasagna can be assembled: Spread 1/2 C or so of the white sauce on the bottom of an 8x8 square baking dish. Place 1 layer of lasagna sheets on it. Add some roasted vegetables, cover with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Repeat this 3-4 times or until the vegetables and sauce is used up. If you have had trouble with getting no-boil noodles to cook in the oven, try this tip (I forget where I read it): Soak the noodles in hot water for 5 minutes before layering them; that way they get a head start in getting re-hydrated and cooked.
Here is the last but one layer- vegetables:
And the last layer- sauce and cheese
4. Cover dish with foil. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes (uncovered for the last 10 minutes) or until the noodles are cooked through, the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is browning.
5. Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Verdict: This was one delicious dinner! This is a savory dish, of course, but the combination of roasted onions, butternut squash and nutmeg gave it a remarkable sweetness- which, together with the dairy richness made it the perfect indulgence for a bitterly cold night.
This hearty lasagna is my entry to the Fresh Produce event hosted by Marta of An Italian in the US. The theme this month is Squash, which is one family of vegetables that are generally quite inexpensive and can be enjoyed in both summer and winter.
Butternut squash is so versatile; I have my eye on many delicious b'nut-squash recipes like butternut squash and brown rice risotto, butternut squash soup, salad and mac and cheese (!).
Want another helping of lasagna? Here you go:
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna from Two Fat Als
Pesto Mushroom Lasagna from Blog Appetit
Eggplant Lasagna from Cooking with Amy
Que Sarah Sarah Lasagna from What Smells So Good?
Mexican Lasagna from FatFree Vegan Kitchen