Butternut Squash + Sage Lasagna
If you love a white lasagna, then you're going to love this delicious fall vegetarian friendly version! This recipe was inspired by the Thanksgiving Episode of "Home Cooking" with Samin Nosrat and Hrishi Hirway that I was recently re-listening to (because I'm a total Samin Nosrat geek). While discussing great Thanksgiving dishes and turkey alternatives, they started talking lasagna and Samin had the beyond brilliant idea to crumble amaretti (Italian Amaretto) cookies into the layers of a lasagna. Fast forward 5 minute and I've ordered the cookies on Amazon and am in full draft mode of this recipe. I could barely contain my excitement to try these creamy, dreamy, herby, sweet layers and I gotta say the cookie crumble was a total gamechanger (as are all Samin's genius ideas). I hope you enjoy!
For the roasted butternut squash:
24 oz butternut squash, cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
For the garlic mixture:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sage, chopped
¼ cup basil, chopped
¾ cups chicken broth
For the béchamel sauce:
4 cups whole milk
8 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
12 lasagna noodles (I used no-cook)
8 amaretti cookies, crumbled
1 cup parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Toss the squash in the olive oil, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper and spread evenly across the pan. Roast the squash for 10 minutes then toss and roast another 10 minutes until fork tender.
2. In the meantime, heat a medium sized sauté pan to medium and melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, sauté the garlic, sage and basil for 3-4 minutes or until the garlic turns golden in color and the herbs are fragrant. Spoon the garlic mixture into a blender and set aside.
3. Once the butternut squash has been removed from the oven, adjust the oven temperature to 375 F. Add the squash to the garlic herb mixture in blender and pulse with ¾ cups chicken broth until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix one more time.
4. For the béchamel, simmer the milk in a small saucepan. Clean and dry the sauté pan used for the garlic and melt 8 tablespoons of butter on medium low. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the ½ cup of flour until fully combined. Add the hot milk all at once and continue to whisk the mixture until a sauce has formed and thickened, around 3-5 minutes. Off heat, add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and ½ tsp nutmeg.
5. To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the béchamel sauce in a 9x13 oven safe casserole dish. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on top, another layer of béchamel, 1/3 of the butternut squash mixture, ¼ cup grated parmesan, then 1/3 of the amaretti cookie crumbles. Repeat 2 more times and top with one final layer of noodles, the remainder of the béchamel, and ¼ cup of parmesan (4 layers total).
6. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.
*Note: If using no-cook noodles and concerned about them cooking through, you can dip each noodle in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to soften a bit before layering.