I am not a hoooge fan of squash, but, ’tis the season, and, my local family farm had one, final $10 Mystery Bag o’ the season, and it was loaded with peppers and squashes.
The peppers were simple: pepper jelly.
I had to think about it.
Spaghetti squash is a natural for tomato sauce, or mebbe chili, but the others?
I am still thinking on what to do with the acorn squash, but the nice folk at Bon Appétit via Epicurious.com gave me a good nudge in the right direction with a very nice vegetarian lasagna featuring butternut squash, ‘shrooms, and rather a lot of cheese.
The end product was very nice, tho’ I should note that my version of this recipe includes a lot of extra seasonings and spice, and Rich still thought it could’ve mebbe used more garlic or sumpin’.
I just added my fave Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce to the top of mine.
•1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
•2 1/2 cups chopped onion
•2 tsp minced fresh garlic
•8 oz mixed ‘shrooms*
•2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
(about 5-1/2 cups)
•2 cups vegetable broth
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
•4 tbsp sliced fresh sage
•2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp dried rosemary
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp Vadouvan French Masala Curry
•32 oz whole-milk ricotta cheese
•16 oz 4% fat cottage cheese**
•2 cups grated Mozzarella-Provolone blend cheese
•2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
•2 cups grated Satori Bellavitano Merlot Cheese, divided (or shredded Parmesan)
•4 large eggs
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your own fave hot sauce, to taste)
•Uncooked lasagna noodles
*Or crimini (baby bella ‘shrooms)
**NO, you do NOT want to use the 2% or fat free. You are already saving a TON of fat by sawapping out cottage cheese for some of the ricotta, and do you KNOW what they add to the low fat/no fat stuff? It is NOT good.
Stir the thyme, sage, Aleppo pepper, rosemary, parsley, and Vadouvan curry together in a bowl until nicely blended and set aside.
Stir the ricotta together with the cottage cheese, two cups Mozzarella, 1-1/2 cup of the Bellavitano, and two tablespoons of the blended seasonings in a large bowl.
Whisk the eggs lightly, add the teaspoon (or more) of Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or, your own fave hot sauce, to taste), then stir into the cheese mixture until well blended.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about eight minutes. Increase heat to high, then add the garlic and cook for one minute.
Add ‘shrooms and cook until tender, stirring constantly, about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a couple of drops of Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your fave hot sauce) – optional, but strongly recommended – in the last minute of cooking. Transfer ‘shroom mixture to bowl and set aside.
Add the squash, broth, Sherry Peppers Sauce, and the remaining seasoning blend to the skillet, then cover and simmer over medium heat until squash is just tender, about six minutes. Uncover and cook until squash is very soft but still retains its shape, about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat your oven to 350º.
Brush 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with oil. Spread 1 cup ricotta mixture over bottom. Arrange three noodles on top of the cheese, then spread another 1-1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture over noodles.
Add 1-1/3 cup of the squash on top of the cheese, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the ‘shrooms and 1 cup mozzarella.
Layer with three noodles, then 1-1/2 cup ricotta mixture, half of remaining squash, 1/2 cup ‘shrooms, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella on top.
Repeat with noodles, 1-3/4 cup ricotta mixture, remaining squash, and remaining mushrooms.
Top with three more noodles, then spread remaining ricotta mixture over; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover tightly with lightly oiled foil (I used cooking spray).
Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes.
At this point, you could pull the lasagna out of the oven, set it aside to rest for ten minutes, then serve it.
I chose to set my lasagna aside to cool completely before re-covering it tightly with foil and stashing it in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to blend.
We had a Portuguese sausage and mussels stew for dinner that night (details to come).
The next day, I pulled the lasagna out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter for an hour before popping it (covered) into a 325º for an hour or so, until golden brown on top and heated through.
Cheesy, tasty goodness. But next time? More garlic, and mebbe a few other seasonings.