I spotted it yesterday while I was turning the earth in the potato bed – the first tinge of rouge on our towering maples. The color in the leaves reflects the drop in temperatures and signals the bona fide start of fall on the homestead.
There are other signs of the change of seasons, too. The potatoes have been dug and stored, and we’ve already had to burrow into the closets in search of fleece jackets and tall boots for our invigorating walks to school and back.
The arrival of autumn and the brisk weather had me craving this comforting casserole, but I opted for a lighter version, featuring roasted butternut squash instead of a meat sauce. The lasagna also contains plenty of herbs, which are still flourishing in the garden, and a generous helping of cheese for a vegetarian take on a family favorite.
Any roast winter squash would be lovely in this recipe (Nigella Lawson has a recipe for a pumpkin and goat cheese lasagna in her book Nigella Christmas that I am curious to try next), I just happened to use butternut, as that was what I had roasted and sitting in the fridge.
Many of the components of this recipe can be prepared in advance, or even purchased, making it a good option for a weeknight dinner. It can also be assembled in the morning, stored – well wrapped in the refrigerator – for the day, and baked up hot and bubbly for dinner at night.
Perfect for Meatless Monday, I recommend doubling this butternut squash lasagna recipe and freezing the second (after assembly, before baking) for another week.
|Butternut Squash Lasagna||
- 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or purchased
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
- 2 cups roasted winter squash (I used butternut, but any variety would do)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- (optional) 5-7 roasted tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the bottom of an 8×10 casserole, spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and top with three lasagna noodles.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, salt and pepper together until foamy. Add the roasted squash and beat it into the egg until combined. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps.
- Sprinkle the thyme and the Parmesan into the squash mixture and mix well. Spread the mixture over the lasagna noodles in the pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Layer another 3 noodles in the casserole and top with 1 cup of marinara sauce. Place the remaining 3 noodles in the dish and spread the last 1/2 cup of sauce over the top of them.
- Finish the lasagna with 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Top with 5-7 roasted tomatoes, if you wish.
- Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sides of the lasagna are bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
Have you shifted into fall cooking yet?