Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Butternut Squash and Broccoli Rabe Lasagna + Sausage


I have always wanted to make a butternut squash lasagna but lets be real all lasagnas are time consuming to make.  That steered me away from trying this recipe for awhile but Monday I had some time so I got down to cooking during nap time.

Let me start by saying this is supposed to be a vegetarian lasagna.  But you see my man doesn't like vegetarian meals.  Thinks its weird for no meat to be involved in a dinner, so I added in some Italian Sausage to keep him happy.  It turned out to be a genius idea.  I am officially adding sausage to the ingredient list because it worked magically with the sweetness of the butternut squash and bitterness of the broccoli rabe.  It provided the perfect slightly spicy accent to the lasagna along with great texture.

The recipe is for one large lasagna (serves 10-12) so if you are entertaining definitely make the large one but I made it into two smaller lasagnas easily.  I saved one for us and took one to my friend who just had the sweetest baby boy.  You could easily freeze the other one as well.  The smaller dish lasts forever we are eating it again tonight for the third night in a row.
I really, really enjoyed this lasagna it was a fun spin on a classic dish. Takes a little time to whip together but totally worth the effort!

**A few notes on changes I made to the recipe:
.  Instead of slicing the butternut squash into strips I bought the pre-cut chunks.  I roasted them and then mashed them up to thick consistency.  Then I spread that over the noodles.  I also used fresh mozzarella (the ball kind) to slice and put over the top before baking.  I added in the pre-ground Mild Italian Sausage (brown it first)  and layered it on top of the broccoli rabe layer.  By pure accident I bought the no-cook lasagna noodles, I had never used them before and it freaked me out but Sterling was asleep so I had no choice but to proceed with them and they worked great.  Saved one big step of boiling the noodles and I thought they tasted the same**

{BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BROCCOLI RABE LASAGNA}
Adapted from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS
•2 2-lb. butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

•3 tablespoons olive oil plus more

•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

•2 pounds broccoli rabe (rapini), tough stems removed

•Crushed red pepper flakes

•1 pound fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated

•1 pound whole-milk ricotta

•1 cup finely grated Parmesan

•1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

•2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

•1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Béchamel and Assembly

•1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

•1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

•5 cups (or more) half-and-half

•1/8 teaspoon (or more) freshly grated nutmeg

•1 bay leaf

•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

•1 pound lasagna noodles

•3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preparation

Filling

•Preheat oven to 400°. Place squash and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat squash. Transfer to 2 rimmed baking sheets, spreading out in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Roast until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

•Quickly blanch broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water just until it wilts, 1–2 minutes. Drain; briefly cool under running water. Squeeze out excess water; coarsely chop and transfer to a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes; drizzle with oil and toss to coat.

•Mix mozzarella and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Squash, broccoli rabe, and cheese mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.

Béchamel and Assembly

•Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir until slightly thickened (do not allow mixture to turn brown), 2–3 minutes. Increase heat slightly; slowly whisk in 5 cups half-and-half, 1/2-cupful at a time, allowing béchamel to thicken between additions (adding half-and-half gradually will help to prevent lumps from forming). Add 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and bay leaf.

•Reduce heat to low and cook, thinning with more half-and-half if too thick, until sauce is a milk shake–like consistency, about 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water. Cover and keep warm.

•Cook lasagna noodles in a pot of well-salted boiling water until still quite al dente, 8–9 minutes. Transfer immediately to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Drain; spread out noodles on a kitchen towel or baking sheets lined with parchment paper, placing a kitchen towel or parchment between layers.

•Ladle about 1/4 cup béchamel into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish; spread evenly over bottom. Line dish with a single layer of noodles, cutting as needed to fit (use large scraps in subsequent layers). Layer 1/3 of squash over. Scatter 1/3 of broccoli rabe over. Dollop 1/3 of ricotta mixture randomly over greens. Drizzle 1/2 cup béchamel evenly over ricotta mixture. Repeat process 2 more times for a Total of 3 layers, finishing with a layer of noodles. Spread remaining béchamel over; top with Parmesan. DO AHEAD Lasagna can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Return to room temperature before continuing.

•Preheat oven to 375°. Bake lasagna uncovered until bubbly and starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Turn oven to broil. Cook until browned and golden, 4–7 minutes. Let rest for 20–30 minutes before serving




11 comments:

Sadie + Stella said...

This looks freaking amazing. Admittedly, I have not cooked in a LONG while. Lemme tell ya. I am drooling over this!

Chassity (Look Linger Love) said...

Now that's a recipe. You deserve props for preparing that one.

Baby Mama Juice said...

Sounds good though I would probably leave the sausage out. Not a big fan of Italian sausage. Bechamel recipes are such a drag but totally worth it in the end! You're so lucky to be able to eat leftovers for dinner. I have a refrigerator full of them that my husband refuses to eat!

Julia {Pawleys Island Posh} said...

Nice job lady friend. That looks delish!

Baby Shopaholic said...

Man that looks good! I wish you were closer : )

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

It sounds complicated but worth the effort! I make a similar recipe but just stuff the butternut squash and sweet Italian sausage into the big pasta shells. Butternut squash and sausage go so well together!

Natalie said...

Yum! Another recipe to bookmark.I was meal planning this week and tonight is your Philly cheeseteak sloppy joes (for Matt!) and tomorrow is your chicken casserole stuffed biscuits. This house loves your recipes!

Megan. OneFifteenDanville. said...

OMG I'm drooling. This looks so good. It also looks like so much work. Maybe I can coax my mom into trying this. You think it would freeze well? I'm trying to stock the freezer for when baby girl arrives. Yum yum yum.

pretty little things said...

this looks soooo delish! xo

http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

natasha {schue love} said...

You had me at butternut squash! YUM!!!

caycee said...

Shit I should have requested that for my birthday.....haha....I kid spending the day before my b-day taking down glass i mean bottles of wine sounds just perfect!