Lasagna is always welcome on the party menu. We shook up tradition in this smoky lasagna which substitutes butternut squash sauce for tomato sauce, and has the addition of spinach and goat cheese, putting it into the super-comfort-food category.
I began this recipe as lasagna cupcakes, thinking that might be perfect for serving at a party, but 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. The verdict: stick with the classic, but upgrade with fantastic veggie selections and flavors of fall, and a smoky twist. The smoky mozzarella cheese in this dish does just that. If adding a bit of smoke appeals to you, see more of our recipes featuring a smoky flavor at this link. You’ll see some great party serving ideas and more.
SERVES 12 MINI PORTIONS OR 6 AS AN ENTREE
PREPARE THE SQUASH SAUCE
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.
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.
butternut squash sauce
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.
We've got more recipes with smoky ingredients to wow guests with, check it out in 01 Smoked