October 17, 2011

Butternut Squash Lasagna

It's official: the season is changing. I was on a hunt this weekend for sweaters, mitts and cozy apparel as the weather starts to turn colder. I also have more cravings for hot cups of tea and some hearty, warm food. It seemed like the summer just ended, but already more change is happening.

Although I eat butternut squash all year round, it seems to be one of those "it" foods at the moment, much like pumpkin. This post may have you seeing orange with all the cheesy and butternut squash goodness of this lasagna.

I find lasagna one of those things that takes a lot of preparation and time to make. Whenever I make it I usually end up with endless tupperwares of freezer meals because of the sheer size, so it's worth it in the end. This lasagna seemed slightly more tedious than normal because of the different butternut squash layers, so some initial confusion resulted in me literally drawing out a diagram of the layers:

The Healthy Foodie (whose recipe I used) says she actually took three days to make the lasagna, but the process wasn't as bad as I thought once I got going (I just thought of the cheesy, gooey end goal in sight!)

Butternut Squash Lasagna (Full Recipe)

1 butternut squash (they have been huge at the grocery store lately, so pick your battles!)
2 onions
1/2 can tomatoes or 2-3 fresh tomatoes
300-400g spinach
1 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
200g light feta cheese
200g mozzarella cheese
Rosemary, nutmeg, salt, pepper
1 tbsp honey
For the squash: Heat oven to 375. Microwave the squash for 3-5 minutes. Cut and peel into cubes and place in a glass dish. Top with salt, pepper, olive oil, nutmeg, rosemary, 1 tbsp honey and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 20-35 minutes until tender.

For the sauce: Set aside 1 cup of the roasted squash for the spinach/feta layer. Add some olive oil to a pan and cook onions for a few minutes and add salt and pepper. Add the remaining squash and 1/2 a can of tomatoes or 2-3 fresh diced tomatoes. Season with rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper. 
For the spinach/feta layer: Cook 1 onion diced and 1 box/package of spinach for a few minutes until spinach is slightly wilted.
Cook lasagna noodles until almost cooked then drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. 
To assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add 3-4 lasagna noodles depending on the size of the pan. Spread more sauce to cover the noodles.
Add more noodles, then the spinach and onion mixture. Crumble feta cheese on top, then add the reserved one cup of squash.
Add remaining noodles and sauce on top. Then top with grated mozzarella cheese.
Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Although I'm still a fan of the traditional meat and cheese lasagna, this vegetarian "winter" themed option is definitely a keeper. It was surprisingly not as filling or heavy as I thought, and will make some great, warm leftovers for this cold and rainy week.

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