07 January 2012
Butternut Squash and Basil Lasagna
My friend, Aparna, made this delicious lasagna for a dinner party last month. I was absolutely bowled over by the flavors and unique ingredients!
From Giada de Laurentiis' recipe with some modifications. I made the basil sauce by following the steps from Deb's smitten kitchen recipe.
For the Squash puree:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb butternut squash, I bought the cut and cubed one from Trader Joe's
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
For the Basil Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
3tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
Red chilli flakes, to taste
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
In a heavy skillet, pour a turn of olive oil and add the butternut squash to it. Add salt, pepper to taste, and coat all the squash. Add the 1/4 cup of water, and cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes till tender. Mash coarsely with a masher or put it into a food processor to puree.
For the basil white sauce, in a pan melt 2 tbsp of the butter and add the flour. Stir constantly till the raw smell of the flour disappears, about 2 mins. Make sure to stir so that flour does not brown. Now add the hot milk and stir (best with a whisk) till the mixture begins to boil. Boil till the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Transfer half of this sauce to a blender and add 3/4 cup of basil leaves, and blend until smooth. Transfer this basil mix to the remainder of the white sauce to mix evenly.
Preheat oven to 375F. In a baking dish, grease sides generously and start layering your lasagna. Start with a layer of the basil sauce, a layer of the no-boil lasagna noodles, and then a layer of the squash mixture. Sprinkle a little cheese onto the squash layer (I did not put any cheese except on the top to brown). Layer this way until you end with a last layer of squash. Reserve 1/4 cup basil sauce to drizzle over the top along with some Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.
Serve with a salad!