Recipe: Autumn Lasagna
Now that the weather is starting to cool off, most folks are bringing out their favorite braising, baking and stewing recipes that feature richer fall flavors.
Cheryl Paff's recipe for Autumn Lasagna is a lovely departure from a traditional lasagna, with hearty greens, sweet squash and aromatic sage. A great entree for cool night dinner parties, Cheryl says, "I think it's a perfect way to kick off the fall season."
Autumn Lasagna with Butternut Squash, Spinach & Sage
1 Medium Butternut Squash - about 1 pound
1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 lbs Leafy Greens - such as Kale, Spinach or Swiss Chard
1/4 cup Water
30 Fresh Sage Leaves - minced
1 Cup Parmesan or Local Hard Grating Cheese - grated
1 Cup Pecorino Cheese - grated
1 8oz Package No Cook Lasagna Noodles
6 Tbsp Butter
1 Small Onion - diced
2 Garlic Cloves - minced
4 Tbsp Flour
1 Quart Whole Milk
Salt & Pepper
Butternut Squash - Four Winds Farm
Spinach - Migliorelli Farm
Sage - My Garden
Barat Cheese - Sprout Creek Farm
Pecorino - Dancing Ewe Farm
Butter - Ronnybrook Farm Dairy
Garlic - Taliaferro Farms
Flour - Wild Hive Farm
Milk - Ronnybrook Farm Dairy
Preheat the oven to 400 °. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (save them to roast for a snack) brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet and roast on a sheet pan in the oven until fork tender, about 40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool. Remove and discard the skin. Cut the flesh into small cubes. Set aside.
Remove the stems from the greens, fold the leaves in half lengthwise and slice them into long thin strips. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the greens to the pan, toss gently and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes until wilted. Add 1/4 cup of water, toss the greens again, cover and let them steam for 5 minutes or until wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the sauce by heating a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter. When it sizzles, add the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent, whisk in the flour, stirring until for 1-2 minutes until golden. Slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Add the sage and bring to almost boiling, then reduce to a simmer, continue stirring and allow to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside.
Combine the 2 cheeses together and set aside.
Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish. Then start assembling the lasagna by placing a layer of the noodles on the bottom of the dish. Then add a layer of cubed roasted squash, then a layer of the cooked greens, top with some of the grated cheese and then pour a layer of the white sauce. Continue layering noodles, squash, greens, cheese and sauce. Top with grated cheese and then cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more until lightly browned on top.
This recipe originally appeared atthefarmersmarket.com. It is re-posted here with permission of the author.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Paff
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