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Friday, January 29, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna

****UPDATE YOUR GOOGLE READERS...I'm now blogging from my own domain...www.thesweetslife.com!!

Here are the important things to know about this recipe:

1. It's a little bit tedious to make.
I spent my Saturday morning making this lasagna, something I am very grateful I did. Had I tried to make it after a long day at work, I may have said forget it and made pb & j.

2. It's good for you.
It's from Cooking Light and healthy ingredients include spinach, butternut squash, and tomatoes!

3. It makes TWO meals.
I'm all about this! I felt pretty accomplished on Saturday, knowing my time in the kitchen would lead to at least 2, probably more with leftovers, meals for us.

4. It is delicious.
I'm not a huge lasagna fan typically, though I've been wanting to make a butternut squash pasta dish and had started making up my own in my head. My mom recommended this recipe though and I decided to give it a go. My tastebuds were so glad--good call mom! (and thanks Lindsay for sharing this with us :))

Butternut Squash Lasagna

-3 cups chopped onion
-10 cups fresh spinach
-3/4 cup shredded sharp provolone cheese (our grocery store didn't have this, so I bought an Italian blend)
-1/2 cup chopped fresh-flat leaf parsley
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-2 large eggs
-1 (15 oz.) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
-1 (15 oz.) carton fat-free ricotta cheese (our grocery store didn't have fat-free, so I got another part-skim)
-3 cups diced, peeled butternut squash
-6 cups Smoky Marinara sauce (recipe below)
-12 oven-read lasagna noodles
-1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese (I definitely used less than this, just sprinkled it on)

Smoky Marinara Sauce
-1 tbsp olive oil
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
-2 tbsp chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried oregano
-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp pepper
-1 (28 oz.) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano; saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Lasagna Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F (if cooking immediately).
2. Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion & saute for 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and saute for 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts.
3. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
4. Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender. (took me 8 minutes)
5. Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-in square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce and spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
6. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
7. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.
8. Bake at 375F for 30 min. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

To freeze unbaked lasagna:
-Follow directions through Step 7. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna:
-Thaw completely in fridge (about 24 hrs). Preheat oven to 375F. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375F for 1 hr. Uncover and bake an additional 30 min or until bubbly.