Butternut squash lasagna with sage and ricotta

Oh butternut, my sweet butternut.

Butternut squash

It is difficult not to hoard butternut squash when it is in season and plentiful.

Butternut squash

And there is no ingredient better suited to accompany the sweet nuttiness of butternut squash than the perfumed earthiness of fresh sage.

Butternut squash

For a long time, I thought sage was gross and inedible. And the reason was that the only contact I had really had with it was when someone was burning one of those bundled dried sticks of sage to “smudge” with.

Fresh sage

While the aroma of sage smoke is not really bad, I couldn’t imagine putting it in my food. It was like smouldering potpourri. Blegh.

Butternut squash lasagna

And the only other instance where sage presented itself to me was in dried, finely ground format. Again, a very strong-smelling, musky powder.

But then, against all my under-developed culinary instincts, I tried fresh sage in some chicken recipe and I was blown away. What?! You’re telling me sage can taste green and fragrant and musky all at the same time? Well it can, and it does.

Butternust squash

I still stay away from dried sage (and thyme), to this day, but I never miss an opportunity to combine fresh sage and squash.

Butternut squash lasagna

I discovered/invented this recipe before I got my pasta-roller. I wanted to mimic a butternut squash ravioli I had had at a restaurant, that was served in a sage and brown butter sauce.

Butternut squash lasagna

But I dreaded making the fresh pasta involved, and I was nervous about making home-made ravioli.

So it suddenly occurred to me that I could just convert the ingredients I had in mind into a lasagna format and skip all the work in making the ravioli! Good thinking, Soph! I apologize for using store-bought pasta, my dear readers, but I was just feeling lazy that day.

So I went about roasting up one of my butternut squash from the collection. Did you know you can roast a whole squash with the skin on? Just prick a couple of holes in it with a fork, leave it in a hot oven for an hour or so and you will have a roasted squash that is easy to peel – once it has cooled down, of course. Then you can just slip the peel off, cut the squash into manageable pieces and mash it into a puree.

Frying sage

I fried the sage in some butter until it was crisp, and mixed it in with my roasted butternut squash puree

Butternut squash

Every lasagna needs a cheese. Or chees-es, if you are feeling fancy.

Ricotta

I for one love a ricotta cheese filling in a lasagna. I wanted my filling to set up really nicely in between the pasta sheets so I added an egg to the ricotta.

Fresh nutmeg

And just for that extra je ne sais quois, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. You can skip the nutmeg if you hate it, but I do lurve it so. Must be my Dutch heritage, they put nutmeg in everything.

Butternut squash lasagna

Assembling the lasagna is so easy.

Assembling the lasagna

Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on the bottom of your baking dish, followed by the lasagna sheets. Then spread a layer of the squash mixture, and another layer of cheese. Repeat the layers until your dish is filled to the top, and end with a ricotta layer.

Assembling the lasagna

Sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top and a few sage leaves to garnish and you are done.

Butternut squash lasagna

Done…like dinner.

Butternut squash lasagna

Bake it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour and dig in.

Here’s the recipe!

Butternut squash lasagna

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Categories: Food

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