Butternut Squash Lasagna

Or a “What do I do with my CSA stuff?” recipe. Serves 8.
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 cremini mushrooms, sliced horizontally
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1 package of italian sausage (5 links)
  • 1 box lasagna noodles (the “no cook” kind)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5-2 cups milk
  • 1 t dried sage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the butternut squash chunks and mushrooms with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then roast them for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent burning. After 20 minutes, you should be able to prick the butternut squash easily with a fork. Remove them from the oven and let cool (but keep the oven on).

Meanwhile, cook the italian sausage in a medium saucepan — squeeze the meat out of the casings and cook it until there’s no more pink. Remove the sausage from the pan, then add the onion and saute until light brown. Once the onions look fairly translucent, add the garlic and cook for one minute.

Then make a roux by melting 1/4 cup (or 4 T) butter in that saucepan over medium-high heat (you can leave the onions and garlic in the pan, just scoot them to the side!). Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk quickly for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture looks light brown and bubbly. Slowly add 1.5 cups milk in a steady stream, reduce the heat to medium, then continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, stirring to make a basic cheese sauce (much like the sauce I make for mac n’ cheese!). If the sauce seems too thick, add the last 1/4-1/2 cup milk. Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat, keeping it on low.

Transfer the roasted butternut squash and mushrooms to a bowl and lightly smash them to make a kind of lumpy paste.

To construct the lasagna, grease a 13×9 pan and add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of the pan. Top with lasagna noodles, then 1/3 of the sausage, then 1/3 of the butternut squash mixture, then a few spoonfuls of  ricotta cheese. Cover with another hefty spoonful of sauce, then repeat: noodles, sausage, squash, ricotta, sauce. Complete that one last time — noodles, sausage, squash, ricotta, sauce. Then finish the lasagna with the reserved shredded mozzarella cheese and another light sprinkle of sage, salt and pepper.

Bake the lasagna for 30-35 minutes, until it’s golden and bubbly and the noodles have been sufficiently rehydrated. The top should be golden brown. Oh, and don’t worry about eating this all on day one — it stays good for a while, tastes better the next day, and can even be frozen! Enjoy.

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