Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Butternut Squash–Fontina Lasagna

Have you ever listened to KCRW's Good Food radio program on Saturday mornings? Along with The Splendid Table, this is the other show I will not miss each week. Luckily, they're both available in podcast on iTunes, so I can listen to them whenever.

Here's a link to the video for the lasagna. Evan Kleiman, the show's excellent host, so much loved this recipe that I had to try it, especially since it's getting hot outside and soon will be too warm to fire up the oven.

Here's the recipe. I pretty much followed it as written, except the store didn't have Fontina, so I subb'd sliced Mozzarella, and it came out sooooooooo yummmmy! Eddie and I pigged out and had two servings, but if we only had one, this easily would serve 10. Round this out with a light salad or roasted asparagus and you have a complete meal. All we had was the lasagna, and we were very happy.

As suggested, I doulbed the béchamel, but didn't need all of it. I salted and peppered the cooked and mashed squash, but next time I would leave out the salt. There's enough salt in the sauce and cheeses.

One comment: Next time I'll use regular lasagna noodles and precook them to the al dente stage. I think the no-boil sheets come out a bit papery; the regular ones are more "noodley," if you know what I mean.

This one for sure will go in the repeat file. Great for company because it can be assembled well ahead and then thrown in the oven when your guests arrive.

Butternut Squash–Fontina Lasagna

(from KCRW's Good Food)

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 lb Italian Fontina, cut into slices
  • Grated Parmesan
  • No-boil lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups béchamel sauce (see recipe below)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Place on lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake until soft, approximately 45 minutes at 375°-400°.

When the squash is very soft, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin and place in bowl.

Run the lasagna rectangles under cold water then make a layer of them in a baking dish. Dot the cooked squash on top of the pasta layers. Drizzle a healthy amount of béchamel over all. Add a sparse dotted layer of fontina, then sprinkle grated parmesan. Continue layering in the same fashion until you have two to three layers of squash, fontina, béchamel and parmesan. End with a layer of pasta, béchamel and parmesan. For more detailed directions Watch the Video.

Bake covered at 375° until hot through. Remove foil and let top layer color until golden brown.

Béchamel Sauce
Makes 2 cups
Double recipe for the lasagna

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir to form a smooth paste. (Those angled wooden spatulas are great for this because you can really scrape the bottom of the pan and prevent burning.) Heat the milk in a separate saucepan or the mcrowave.. When it is hot but not boiling pour it into the roux ( the butter-flour mixture), stirring constantly with a whisk. Make sure you get into all the edges of the pan to coax all the roux into the milk. Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens and the flour taste is gone. Add salt and pepper to taste.