Recipes

My Ongoing Battle To Conquer Butternut Squash

Days not to go to battle with butternut squash are days when you don’t start cooking until about 9 p.m.  I had been knocked off my groove from my cold and trip last week to D.C., and I finally got back in to the swing of things today. Of course that meant, I didn’t start on the butternut squash lasagna until way too late.

Dinner at 10:30 p.m. I’m going Spanish style for the night.

This was the goal.

Picture from Favorite Family Recipes

I’ve been on a mission to try all these other butternut squash recipes since I got all these great suggestions following my post on not knowing what to do with the other half of my butternut squash.  I opted for butternut lasagna and began looking up recipes. I settled on one from the Favorite Family Recipes blog and made a few adjustments.

* Note, I forgot to buy batteries for my camera, so no pictures of my cooking. Sorry. I really need to get a camera that doesn’t eat batteries so quickly.

Important to note for this recipe is that you’ll need about one and a half to two hours between the preparation and cooking. This is largely because the squash is so difficult to chop up.

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Ingredients: 1 c. onion, chopped, 3-4 c. fresh spinach leaves, 1 1/2 c. provolone or mozzarella cheese, shredded salt and pepper to taste, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 (15 oz.) containers ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 c. butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 jar spaghetti sauce, Oven-ready lasagna noodles (I used regular and cooked them in the boiling hot water like you normally would for lasagna and it tasted just fine to me. You need about nine pieces)

Directions: Peel and cut butternut squash in half. Clean out the seeds and then microwave the squash for about five minutes. This will make it much easier to cut. Chop the squash and cut the onions first. Meanwhile, if you used noodles that need to be cooked, start those as well.

Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onionand saute until tender. Add spinach and saute for about a minute or until spinach wilts.

Combine shredded cheese, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl and stir well.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a little of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; spread half of the ricotta mixture over noodles. Arrange the squash over ricotta mixture; spread a third of the spaghetti sauce over squash.

Then, create another layer of noodles and spread the remaining ricotta mixture over it. Place the spinach/onion mixture over the mixture and cover with sauce.

Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; spread remaining ricotta mixture over the noodles. Arrange spinach/onion mixture over ricotta mixture; a third of the sauce over spinach mixture. Then create a final layer of noodles.

Bake at 375-degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

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Ok, so I know what lasagna is supposed to look like. It’s one of my favorite foods, despite the fact that I’ve never made it on my own. Let’s just say, mine didn’t exactly look perfect.

I’m not sure if it’s because I used regular noodles or if I put it in the oven too long, but my top layer of noodles sort of curled up and when I took it out of the oven, they no longer fully covered the layer below it. It just looked disastrous. Mom, where are you? Fix it.

I think if I were doing it again, I’d try to overlap the noodles a bit and add another noodle or two in there, so I could ensure that the whole dish was covered.

Despite the bad presentation (which thankfully you won’t see because of my lack of AA batteries), it tasted awesome! I love this recipe. It had such a good flavor. I really love regular lasagna, but this was such a  nice, light alternative.  Given how filling this dish is and that I just cook for one, I may be eating lasagna for about a week though.

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