Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna

I love squash, all kinds.  My husband, not so much, but he's slowly coming around! I especially like butternut squash.  It's good roasted but I really love a good butternut squash soup or ravioli.  I first made this lasagna recipe a number of years ago.  It's a Giada recipe (here) and I watched her make it on a Thanksgiving cooking show.  My family was pleasantly surprised that they liked it and I've made it ever since!

This week we are curing our new wood-fired oven; each day burning to a higher temperature.  As I was assembling this lasagna it dawned on me that I could put it in the wood oven. It cooked perfectly in there and had a mild smoky taste to it, which was quite nice for a fall meal. Like most lasagnas, it's equally good the next day, if not better.  I tend to like lasagna firmer than the just-out-of-the-oven texture.

There are a few steps to making this lasagna so it isn't something you want to do when you come home from a day of work!  The tasks can be spread out so it doesn't feel so burdensome.   I made this on a Sunday, had the football games on TV (I have a TV in the kitchen, too!) and a sewing project in my craft room.  I made the squash puree in the morning and shredded the cheese.  Later on I made the sauce.  After that, assembling the lasagna took no time!
Out of the oven and cooling!

Layers of squash puree, noodles, cheese and a basil-infused sauce.  Yum!
I find it easiest to use a vegetable peeler to peel the tough outer skin.  At larger grocery stores pre-cut squash is available.
Once peeled and cubed, the squash is cooked until tender.

Yes, amaretti cookies are added!  Sounds strange but they give the squash a nice sweetness and a little texture.  They could easily be omitted.

The puree.  Can be used for the lasagna, as a filling for ravioli, or even baby food!
The sauce is heated until thick then pureed with some fresh basil.  The combination of the basil with the squash is quite nice!
Ready for the oven!

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