Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

imageWith the leaves turning and a nip in the air, I was craving a one-dish meal that would bring fall to the table.  I am not a lasagna baker but I enjoy other people’s family recipes.  After reading several recipes for seasonal butternut squash lasagna,  I was motivated to try my hand at one.   My version is loosely based on the recipe by Pippa Middleton, she of the famous sister and derrière, from her cookbook, Celebrate.  Although a vegetarian dish, it is hearty and robust enough in flavor to satisfy most guests’ appetite.  You could substitute other types of squash or pumpkin but butternut is my favorite squash. The combination of squash, kale, caramelized onion, sage and Italian cheeses enveloped in creamy layers of béchamel sauce result in rustic flavors, perfect for fall entertaining.  The lasagna can be made a couple of days in advance or even frozen, before baking, for up to 3 months, making it a no brainer for stress free entertaining.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE LASAGNA

Ingredients:

1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 and 1/2 pound butternut squash

olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

24 fresh sage leaves;  Reserve half and chop the rest finely

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 pound of frozen chopped kale

5 sheets of fresh lasagna noodles

8 ounces of grated Quattro Fromaggio Italian cheese medley

Béchamel:  4 T unsalted butter, 4 T flour, 16oz light cream, 1/2 t ground nutmeg, 3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese plus 2/3 c more for sprinkling between layers

Method:  Preheat oven to 400F

1-  Cut the squash in half and reserve the seeds.  Coat the cut surfaces with a little oil, salt and pepper and place on an oiled and lined baking sheet, face side down.  Roast for 15 minutes on the bottom rack. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.  Peel the squash and slice in crescents about a quarter inch thick.  Return to baking sheet, add the onions, garlic, and half of the chopped sage leaves.  Bake another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the onion does not burn and caramelizes evenly. Reserve.

2-   In a sauté pan, sauté the kale in a bit of olive oil until the moisture is absorbed then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve.

3-  For the béchamel, in a saucepan, melt butter, add flour and stir to make a roux.  Gradually add the cream, whisking continuously until a smooth consistency is achieved and sauce is thickened.  Add the nutmeg and 3/4 cup of parmesan and whisk to blend.  Reserve.

4-  In a pot of boiling water, blanch each sheet of lasagna, remove and dry off.

ASSEMBLY:

You will have 3 layers of pasta.  In a lasagna pan, place 1 sheet of lasagna and about half of another to fill the width of your dish.  Top with a layer, about half, of the squash mixture.  On top of the squash, layer one third of the béchamel sauce, then half of the kale.  Sprinkle 1/3 cup of parmesan.  Repeat.  Finish by laying another layer of lasagna noodles and topping this layer with the rest of the béchamel and all of the shredded cheese blend.

Reduce oven temperature to 375F and bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.  If baking from a frozen state, defrost before baking.

Toppings:

In a pan, heat some  olive oil and flash-fry the whole sage leaves, for about 1 minute. Drain on a paper towel and reserve.  Squash seeds are really tasty roasted and a nice topping for this dish. To roast the seeds, clean off membranes and toss in a little olive oil.  Bake on a foil lined sheet at 400F for 3-5 minutes, stirring once, until they are golden.  Drain on a paper towel and season with sea salt.

When ready to serve, garnish with the fried sage and toasted squash seeds and a green salad.   Lasagna will serve 8.

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Cooking the squash and onion filling.

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Bechamel

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Finished béchamel.

Assembly:

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Toasting the squash seeds:

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13 thoughts on “Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

  1. I just forwarded the link to this recipe to my soon to be niece-in-law! I know she’s going to love it! I’ve never eaten butternut squash or kale; but as a vegan, I know she lives for it!

    I really admire how your taste buds reach beyond the norm. I have to admit that I’m more of a meat & potatoes gal (I live in the Midwest…it’s in my genes!), but I will occasionally try something new (from someone’s plate at a restaurant or at a dinner party) and like it. I’m just not really adventurous enough to make new stuff on my own. Maybe someday…! 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend!

    • That is why they make cocolate and vanilla ice cream! I bet you would like this if you tried it Alycia….LOL I appreciate you still commenting! Hope you are feeling better this week. Enjoy your weekend too 🙂 did you see Gone Girl yet?

      Sent from my iPad

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  2. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #37 | The Novice Gardener

  3. Not usually a fan of lasagna, this one really looks different. I’m sure the sweetness of the squash and caramelized onions are super with the cheese. And I love that it can be made in advance. Your garnishes are also brilliant. I would be delighted to be served this, but just might have to make it myself. Have a lovely weekend.

    • Those toasted seeds are delicious as a snack or to top salads. Most of the time we just throw them out but they are yummy and can be seasoned in all kinds of way. I hope you’ll try them.

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  4. Pingback: Linguine With Lemon, Walnuts, Crispy Sage and Brown Butter Crumbs and 5 Other Fall Pasta Dishes | French Gardener Dishes

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