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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
3 amaretti cookies, crumbled
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
Pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a pan and add the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the water and simmer until the squash is tender. Cool and then blend the squash until smooth. Add the amaretti cookies and blend again until smooth. 

Melt the butter in a pan and then add the flour, whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Be patient with this step because you don't want your sauce to have lumps in it. Bring the sauce to a boil so it thickens slightly. Add nutmeg and cool  just enough so you can blend it. Put half the sauce in a blender and add the basil. Blend until smooth. Then add it back to the rest of the sauce. Season to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190C)

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan. Spread some sauce on the bottom of the dish then add 3 lasagna noodles. Spread the squash over the noodles and then sprinkle with mozarella cheese. Pour more of the sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Take it out and add more mozarrella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Continue to cook 15 more minutes uncovered until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Now, this is definitely one of my INDULGENT recipes! I found it a few years ago on Foodnetwork.com and made it when I was living in England. My husband loved it and from then on wanted me to make it everyday! (I didn't of course). 

TIP: If you can't find amaretti cookies add a pinch or two of cinnamon and a little brown sugar. I did that this time around because I couldn't find the cookies here in Córdoba.

This is the first time I've made it since then. I made it for an inlaw gathering. It was a sort of farewell party since we're leaving the country in September. So I wanted to make them something "American" and different.

I'm sure you can lighten up this recipe by adding skim milk and low fat cheese, possibly less butter, but I didn't. Instead I just tried it, meaning ate a miniscule piece. But, hey, you have to indulge sometimes!

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