Now that it is Autumn, it often seems like every dish includes something pumpkin-related. As items ranging from pumpkin spice milk to pumpkin spice chewing gum proliferate the marketplace, it is easy to forget about the other delicious foods we can enjoy during this time of year. Enter the butternut squash! Even though butternut squash can be difficult to peel and cut, flavorful dishes can be made with butternut squash and are well worth the effort. Here is a recipe from the book, Celebrate, by Pippa Middleton:
Recipe source: Celebrate, by Pippa Middleton
– Olive oil
– 1 ½ large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
– 2 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/8 inch thick crescents (*I cheated with precut cubes)
– 1 large bunch sage leaves half of the bunch left while and half of the bunch chopped
– 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
– 1 pound fresh spinach
– Generous grating of nutmeg
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 pound dried lasagna noodles
– 2 four ounce balls of mozzarella
– For the béchamel sauce: 1 stick unsalted butter, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3 cups milk, ¾ cup grated Parmesan, plus ½ cup extra, for sprinkling between layers.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a little oil into a large baking dish, add the onion, butternut squash, chopped sage and garlic, then roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the flour until you have a paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, slowly add the milk, constantly stirring until it forms a thick sauce and add the ¾ cup of Parmesan.
In a separate pan, heat a little oil and add the spinach, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted, which squeezes out excess water.
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, drizzle a little oil into it, and cook the lasagna noodles for 5 minutes in order to soften them. Put the following into a 9×13 inch earthenware baking dish: a layer of pasta, a layer of the butternut squash mixture, a layer of the béchamel sauce, some spinach, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers ending up with a final layer of pasta. Spread the remaining béchamel sauce on top. Rip the mozzarella into pieces and scatter these over the top with any remaining grated Parmesan. Place in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the mozzarella bubbles and browns. Garnish with the while sage leaves flash fried in a little butter.
Wine pairing: Chenin Blanc or white Rhône
Serve with: A mixed greens salad
*This can be left in the fridge for 2 days if covered in plastic wrap or frozen up to 3 months. Defrost fully before cooking.
What a smart suggestion to use pre-cut butternut squash cubes