Monday, February 23, 2015

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna {Small Family Size}

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna {Small Family Size}

A hearty meatless lasagna with butternut squash and spinach filling in between layers of uncooked noodles. This meal is a great way to enjoy farm share produce year round.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html

I did not get good photos of this lasagna for you. My spouse thinks that means I merely need to make it again. While I do have some community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share butternut squash left in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, I have other ideas for them. Moving forward, always often, to new recipe ideas, and it seems silly to avoid this tasty recipe just because I don't have the food stylist's knack for making a piece of lasagna look good.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html

I like lasagna filling more than I like noodles, and I hate trying to keep track of all the boiled noodles without losing the little ruffled edges. Therefore I make lasagna that has a higher filling to noodle ratio--and use oven ready noodles so I don't have to stress about separating cooked noodles or having them tear off their petticoats or go diving out of the colander into the sink.
Plan to assemble the lasagna earlier in the day and chill it until you're ready to bake. It could probably be assembled the night before, but I didn't try it that way. This make ahead dish makes a 'small family' size pan (9 inch square) of lasagna, great for a couple of leftovers but not weeks of leftovers. 

For other recipes using butternut squash, please see my Butternut Squash Recipe Collection. For other recipes using spinach, please see my Spinach Recipe Collection. They are part of the recently-updated Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html


Note: This recipe calls for roasted butternut squash. I usually roast a few squash at a time and keep the unused portions in zip top bags in the freezer. If you don't have any roasted squash on hand you'll need to factor in another 45 minutes to an hour to get that part done.

Another Note: You'll notice that I'm not starting off with "preheat the oven . . .". That's not an omission. I think the finished lasagna is better if the noodles have a chance to soak up the sauce before baking. My homemade sauce is not concentrated, so it is the perfect liquid for the noodles to absorb and I wanted to make sure that the noodles had the time to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives and then get a move on before I cranked up the heat.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

3 pints tomato sauce or tomato puree (not paste)
½ cup chopped basil leaves (mine were frozen)
3 to 4 cloves roasted garlic (here's how I roast and put up my crop) or minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, divided
5 to 6 cups baby spinach
8 ounces roasted butternut squash (halved & scooped, a squash takes about 20-45 min at 400 degrees)
12 ounces ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese, or a blend of each)
1 egg
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella
½ cup shredded asiago
8 pieces (½ box) oven ready lasagna noodles (I used Barilla)

In a saucepan, simmer the tomatoes, basil, smashed garlic, sugar and salt while you prepare the filling (about 15-20 minutes).  In a large skillet over medium heat, stir the spinach with ¼ cup water for 5-10 minutes until wilted and nearly dry.
In a large bowl, combine squash, ricotta, egg, and spices until thoroughly mixed. Stir in spinach [I use my immersion blender so the kids can't complain about bits of spinach].  In a 9 inch square pan ladle ½ cup sauce across the bottom.  Top with 2 noodles.  Spread ⅓ of ricotta mixture over noodles, top with ½ cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup sauce.  Repeat layers of noodle/ricotta/cheese/sauce 2 more times, then top with final pair of noodles. Cover top layer of noodles with the rest of the sauce, the rest of the mozzarella cheese, and the asiago cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and set the pan on the counter to take the chill off while the oven is preheating. [This is probably not necessary with a metal pan, but mine is ceramic and I don't want to subject it to wild temperature swings.] Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove foil and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes uncovered until edges are browned and crispy.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing. 

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2015/02/butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna.html

This post is shared with What's Cookin' Wednesday

24 comments:

  1. Interesting that you blended the spinach and squash right in with the cheese! What a great idea! (And yeah - my kids can be stinkers when it comes to spinach too -- so this is a genius move.) Looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel,
      My kids are jiggy with the flavors, they just don't care for the texture of many vegetable-laden dishes that I prepare. My immersion blender is my friend--and the reason my kids can tell me that the spaghetti sauce 'needs more eggplant' even if they won't eat an eggplant chip lying all by itself. [They are missing out. Eggplant chips are tasty.]
      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. I love all the veggies going on in this lasagna! I also like that it's a bit smaller in size...so many lasagna recipes make enough to feed an army, but this size is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faith,
      I have seen hungry teens eat, but my teens do not have the same appetite. That or we're used to smaller portions because of our small plates, I don't know. I'm just glad to have lasagna for dinner one night and lunch later in the week and be done with it.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. That looks like a great nutritious weeknight meal idea. I haven't made lasagne in a while, I am not sure why, it must be a sign. :D I like that it's meatless, great for a change and your recipe packs quite some interesting flavors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helene,
      It has been so crazily cold here that I am happy to burrow into a big pan of hearty lasagna. A nice change from the years we lived in Hawaii--I never felt like making soup, or chili, or even roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving. I've decided I need to live in a place with wider than 15 degree F temperature swings for seasons!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. This looked wonderful, and I just happen to have half a butternut squash that needs something to do. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renée,
      You are a lucky woman indeed to have half a butternut squash looking for work in your kitchen! I've got a few loitering in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, but I've gone off on a muffin kick lately and they are sadly unloved.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. This looked wonderful, and I just happen to have half a butternut squash that needs something to do. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renée,
      Is it cool if I delete the duplicate?

      Delete
  6. This looks so good! I love butternut squash. Thanks for sharing, I'll let you know when we try it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri,
      Please do let me know if you try it--warms the cockles of this heart and all.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  7. This Lasagna looks so good and it's perfect for Lent because it has no meat. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peachy,
      I agree this would be a good Lenten recipe, or a Meatless Monday recipe, or just dinner.
      I'm confused on how fish is not a meat, but happy to have sales on seafood since it's pretty pricey.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  8. A butternut squash that I bought last week is on the counter looking at me as I read your recipe. Fate? I think so, especially since I have almost all the other ingredients except the pasta - may have to improvise on that, but I'm loving the idea in general, and I know you'd approve if I go a bit off the beaten track on the pasta:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura,
      Oooh, I get creeped out when the vegetables stare at me. It's part of the reason why I moved the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve into the basement. [That, and I turned a table 90 degrees and ran out of space for the shelves that make up the SWSR.]
      I approve of any and all roads less followed. Except that concession stand nacho cheez sauce. Don't go down that road.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  9. I agree with you about more filling, and I love the blended (I'm with your kids lol) spinach and butternut squash--just outside the box enough to keep me happy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura,
      If I could come up with the right dipper, a lasagna dip is sounding very appealing right now.

      Delete
  10. Looks good to me!! I have 3 butternut squash saved away from last falls CSA, maybe I'll try this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam,
      I'm glad I'm not alone in still having some squash. I get excited hitting the grocery store and actually *choosing* vegetables to buy so I tend to let the CSA stuff languish a bit. Then I get sentimental over the CSA and get busy using the goodies up before the season starts.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  11. I agree with you, I love the filling so much more than the noodles and I love how this is a smaller portion size too - perfect for smaller families. Also, great tip to roast and freeze the squash to use in later recipes. I need to do that, it certainly saves time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanie,
      Make sure to label anything you freeze. I have an interesting time trying to determine if I'm thawing arugula pesto or basil pesto or mustard greens pesto sometimes!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  12. I appreciate that you take the noodles feelings into consideration when making lasagna. I wish more fancy pants chefs would do that. I love the mixture of flavors here, and think the squash and spinach would play deliciously together. Also, the filling IS where it's at. Well done, and I even kind of like the picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Are you callin' me a fancy pants chef???? Them's fightin' words, you know, though I do always cook while wearing pants, even if they are not fancy nor am I a chef.
      But thanks, my friend!

      Delete