Monday, March 21, 2011

Look, I made up a recipe

One of my real-life friends who’s a member of my shared meal-planning Google calendar group (comment if you want in on this) asked me for my butternut squash lasagna recipe a while ago. I never gave it to her. I was going to type it up for her right now, but I thought it’s possible that there may be other interested parties. I’m pretty pleased with this recipe; it’s my own, if it’s fair to call an adaptation of some other lasagna recipe “my own.” But I added the butternut squash, and that’s a fairly key ingredient in butternut squash lasagna, don’t you think? And I think the squash and cheese complement each other surprisingly well.

So here it is, in all its glory:

Dr. Maureen’s Butternut Squash Lasagna

hands on: ~30 min (plus roasting time);
bake ~45 min;
total time: 1hr, 15min (plus roasting time)
oven: 375F

I pretty much always use Smart Ground tofu crumbles because I like my lasagnas to be meatless but I think the Smart Ground gives it a nice texture, but the last time I made this I checked the sodium content on Smart Ground, and yikes. So I’m probably going to try it without anything next time. Incidentally, sausage is excellent in this lasagna, if you like sausage.

I usually roast my squash a day or two ahead of time so that I don’t feel like I’ve been making lasagna for the entire day. To roast a squash, slice it in half the long way, scoop out the seeds, and place face down on a lined cookie sheet. Roast at 350F for about 35-40 minutes, or whenever it’s easily pierced by a fork. To puree it, let it cool and then scoop the roasted flesh out of the skin with a spoon. Toss it in a food processor and blend till smooth. I’m sure you could also just mash it up by hand, but I’m lazy.

I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta because I hate ricotta, and cottage cheese gives the same texture, which is necessary for lasagna. But if YOU like ricotta, by all means use it. Same explanation holds true for my using Romano instead of parmesan.

This recipe is easily adapted to stuffed shells; just stuff the shells with the squash mixture, arrange them in a pan, top with sauce and cheese.

ground meat or tofu crumbles (optional) (see note)
chopped onion, minced garlic, amount to taste (if using meat)
1 roasted and pureed butternut squash (see note)
1 lb container cottage cheese (see note)
1 cup mozzarella plus a few handfuls
½ cup Romano (see note)
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 beaten egg
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 package lasagna noodles

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. If using, brown the ground meat or tofu with onion and garlic.
3. Boil and drain the noodles according to package directions
4. Mix meat, squash, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Romano, parsley and beaten egg together
5. Spread some of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 roasting pan. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles. Top with stuffing, sauce, and more noodles. Alternate until you have at least three layers or else run out of noodles, making sure to end with noodles. (see note)
6. Top with lots of sauce and sprinkle with a few handfuls of mozzarella.
7. Bake at 375F for ~45 min.
8. Enjoy!


Heather R said...

Thanks!! I wouldn't have thought to combine spaghetti sauce with butternut squash, but I will give it a try!!

LJS said...

Today I made lentil bolognese from my blogger friend in Australia. The girls would not touch it but I thought it was really good. I am totally going to try this recipe next!

Jessica said...

Can I been in on the meal planning if I don't really cook? My husband does that, but we're in desperate need of new recipes... By the way, I almost never log into my mammmablogs email, so I'd use a different one.

Heather R said...

I FINALLY made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! I had never made lasagna with cottage cheese or butternut squash and DUDE, I could eat the whole thing, so I am trying not to think about the leftovers in my fridge right now! I had a friend over for dinner and she also loved it and took some home with her!