Butternut Squash Lasagna

This lasagna is a real crowd pleaser: creamy without being oily with a good punch of squashiness. It lacks the often painfully long lasagna prep and is very easy to throw together. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this pan o’ noodles, and we all know how much I love to be flattered.

You will need:
1 medium-sized Kabocha squash (or a medium Butternut)
*Kabocha squash is commonly used in Asian cooking; you often see it in tempura and think it’s sweet potato. It has a very distinctive green rind and is often referred to as pumpkin on the menus.
2 large shallots
2 leeks
2 T olive oil
2 T white wine
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
S & P
pinch nutmeg
1 quart milk
2 c shredded mozzerella
1 lb cottage cheese
3/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 package ready-bake lasagna noodles

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and bake the squash, cut in half with cut side up, until a fork goes through easily.

Dice the shallots and leek, making sure to rinse the leek thoroughly! Saute over medium-high heat with the olive oil until soft.

Meanwhile, warm the milk over low heat, stirring occasionally. There’s nothing quite like a pan of burnt, disgusting milk, so make sure you remember to give it a shimmy and a shake every now and then. Otherwise, you’ll be making all the mama cows out there cry!

When the leeks and shallots are soft, reduce with a shot of white wine:

add the butter:

(mmm fat) with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. When the butter has melted, add the flour and mix until incorporated.

Cook for a minute or two. When the roux is nice and thick, slowly add one cup of the warm milk.

And stir until smooth. It’s important not to add all of the milk at once; if you do, it will be a lot harder to have a smooth mixture and your hand will get tired from whisking so much. Slowly add the rest of the milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

Turn off the heat.

Mash up the squash in a separate bowl

and add it to the milk mixture:

Stir it until somewhat homogenous and then go at it with an immersion blender:

And, voila! You will have a beautiful, smooth, bright orange mixture to behold:

Mix together the shredded mozzarella and cottage cheese

And you’re ready to assemble! BOOM!

Grease a 13″x9″ pan thoroughly. Spread a thin layer of squash-sauce on the bottom:

Layer noodles, more squash-sauce, the cottage-mozz mixture, and a generous sprinkling of parm until you run out of ingredients. It should be about 3 chunky layers:

The top of the lasagna should be parm and cheese-mixture, but not a lot of it. Just a dabble.

Let this sit for about 20 minutes to let the noodles absorb some liquid before they go into the oven.

Preheat your oven to 375 and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Personally, I think this is best served the next day; however, I have much higher standards than the average minion and don’t expect all of you to live up to my superior taste buds.

Now go get your nom on!

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