Butternut Squash, Spinach & Smoked Mozzarella Lasagna

Recipe

Vegetarian Comfort: Butternut Squash, Spinach & Smoked Mozzarella Lasagna

Lasagna, that foodie labor of love, is always welcome on the party menu. This particular lasagna uses butternut squash sauce instead of tomato sauce putting it into the super-comfort-food category. I began this recipe as lasagna cupcakes, but thought the results were not as satisfying as a full, old-school lasagna. The cupcakes were tedious to layer, and kept popping out of the muffin pan. Verdict: stick with the classic, but upgrade with fantastic veggie selections and flavors of fall.

SERVES 12 MINI PORTIONS OR 6 AS AN ENTREE

PREPARE THE SQUASH SAUCE

butternut squash

2 TB butter
10 sage leaves, torn
1 CUP half + half
s + p

Peel butternut squash, cut into 1-inch chunks. Boil squash till soft, about 15 min. Drain. Add back to pot. In a pan, melt butter, add sage, cook 3 min. Remove sage. Stir in half + half, cook another 5 min. Pour mixture into the pot with butternut squash and mash together. Add s + p to taste.

lasagna-steps-201x300

BOIL WATER FOR LASAGNA… PREHEAT OVEN 350ºF

lasagna, 9 pieces

Boil pasta. Drain. Set noodles out on parchment.

MAKE THE SPINACH-GOAT CHEESE MIX

1 TB olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 CUPS fresh spinach, cut into ribbons
1 small log goat cheese, room temp
2 TB half + half

Heat oil, add garlic, wilt spinach. In bowl, mix spinach with goat cheese and half + half.

START LAYERING

butternut squash sauce
cooked lasagna
spinach goat cheese mix
1 CUP Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 LB smoked mozzarella, shredded

In a baking pan,add a little of the butternut squash sauce on the bottom. Lay 3 noodles across. Top with more sauce, spinach mix, both cheeses. Repeat X2. For the top, make sure you have a nice layer of the butternut squash sauce covering the noodles entirely, and sprinkle cheeses liberally.

PUT IT IN THE OVEN

Bake covered with foil, 40 min. Uncover, bake additional 15 min. Let cool about 10 min. Cut into 12 pieces.

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