Butternut Sage Lasagna

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been on here.  Hello again, friends.

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Even when it’s cold it looks pretty good!

About three years ago, my friend Lindsay and I discovered Emeril Lagasse’s butternut squash ravioli recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/roasted-butternut-squash-ravioli-with-a-sage-brown-butter-sauce-recipe.html).  We fell in love with it, though we added a few more garlic-y things to make it tastier to our preferences.  Since then, I’ve made it on occasion, but do you know how long it takes to make ravioli?  Even if you use ready-made wonton wrappers in place of homemade pasta?  Forever.

“Turn it into lasagna,” I said.  “It’ll go faster,” I said.  HOLY MAN, was I wrong.  This was quite the labor-intensive hunk of noodles. That said, it was worth it.  It would have gone loads faster if I had been able to find butternut squash puree…but instead I had to peel and roast and mash the squash in addition to normal lasagna things.  Feel free to do some math and figure out the appropriate substitution of frozen puree.  Not that I always advise store-bought shortcuts…but…have you ever peeled a raw squash? Just let the factory do it for you.

So here is a part-Martha-Stewart, part-Emeril, part-Janco take on Butternut Squash Lasagna.  Maybe next time I make it, I’ll be able to use puree, in which case I will update this post accordingly.  Cheers.  Here’s the link to Martha’s contribution:  (http://www.marthastewart.com/314642/butternut-squash-and-sage-lasagna)

Butternut Sage Lasagna

Yield: One 13×9 pan

Ingredients:

1.5 Butternut Squashes (if you’re using two full-sized. I myself used a full-sized one and then a tiny one)

Olive Oil

Salt

1 Package Lasagna Noodles

1 c. Salted Butter

12-14 Sage Leaves (one package from the grocery store, generally)

About 1/2 c. Vegetable Stock

1 Shallot, minced

1 1/4 t. Black Pepper, divided

3 Large Cloves Garlic, minced and divided

3/4 c. Ricotta (for the love of Moses, use the good stuff)

1 ball Fresh Mozzarella

1/2 c. Heavy Cream

Dash Nutmeg

2 Egg Yolks

Parmesan (I used one wedge.  How descriptive of me)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and seed (de-seed?) the squash; cut into one-inch cubes.  Toss squash with a liberal amount of olive oil and some salt.  Roast for approximately 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when poked with a fork.

While the squash is roasting, prepare sage brown butter.  Place nearly all of the whole sage leaves (reserving a couple) into a saucepan with all of the butter.  Cook over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally, until the butter gets a nutty scent, the sage looks crispy, and it turns a golden brown.  Immediately remove from the heat, lest it burn.  Remove sage leaves and discard.

Begin to cook the pasta–al dente in salty water.  Pour approximately half of the brown butter mixture into a large bowl or other dish standing by.  When the  the noodles finish cooking, toss them in the bowl with the brown butter to keep them from sticking together.  Set aside.

When the squash finishes roasting, transfer it to a large pot.  Mash with whatever utensil seems to do the job.  Place pot over medium heat.  Add shallot, 1 t. of the black pepper, 2 of the cloves of garlic, and remaining sage leaves (chopped finely).  Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes–we’re trying to get the garlic and shallot to cook a bit so they don’t have as much of a bite.  Pour the remaining brown butter into a measuring cup.  Add enough vegetable stock so that the liquid reaches 1 1/4 c.  Add to squash mash and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.

In another bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella (shredding it by hand worked better than I thought it would), heavy cream, remaining 1/4 t. black pepper, remaining garlic, the nutmeg, and the egg yolks.  Whip together with a fork.

Now we can (finally) start building the thing.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Grab your 13×9″ pan, and spread a thin layer of the squash mixture on the bottom.  Add a layer of buttery noodles.  Then a layer of the eggy dairy mixture.  Next, grate or shave or otherwise disperse Parmesan over the pan.  Add another layer of noodles.  Then a healthy helping of squash, more noodles, more eggy dairy, more parm, etc, etc.  Theoretically you will end with the dairy mixture, which you should top off with twice as much Parmesan as usual.  There will probably be some brown butter hanging out in the bowl where the noodles were–I poured it on top of the parm, because I don’t want to waste sage brown butter!  Bake for about a half hour until the cheese starts to get some color.

Let cool for a bit, then enjoy!

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