Monday, November 30, 2009

Butternut Squash Lasagna

I wish I could tell you I haven't been doing much cooking or baking and that is the reason I haven't posted anything but that would be a lie. I have been cooking and baking and EATING like mad. My only excuse is that I have a short attention span and easily get bored. Since Fall has arrived I have been cooking and baking like crazy with pumpkin and squash.  I found a recipe that sounded really good in a Cooking Light magazine and although I managed to completely screw up the recipe because of my short attention span it turned out deliciously. If you like the idea of a vegetarian lasagna and like squash and spinach I encourage you to try it. If you don't follow the instructions closely no worries. I assembled the lasagna almost totally wrong and it still came out wonderful.

Butternut Squash Lasagna
adapted from Cooking Light


  • Cooking spray
  • 3  cups  chopped onion
  • 10  cup  fresh spinach
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1  (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 3  cups  diced peeled butternut squash
  • 6  cups smoky marina sauce (recipe below)
  • 12  oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.

Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of prepared dish. Arrange 4 noodles over sauce; spread 2 cup's of cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange squash over cheese mixture; spread 1 1/2 cups sauce over squash.
Arrange 4 noodles over sauce; spread 2 cups cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 3 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 1 1/2  cups sauce over spinach mixture.

Arrange 4 noodles over sauce; spread 2 cups Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Cover each pan with foil.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Now I already told you I messed up the layers of this. But if you've ever made lasagna I think you probably know it doesn't make much difference as long as you end up with cheese or something on the top layer.

Smoky Marinara Sauce

Yield: 6 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2  teaspoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1  (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained (I used diced)
  • 1  (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. You'll end up with extra of this so if you would rather use smaller cans of tomatoes and adjust seasoning you can do that or you can save and use the remaining marinara within a few days or freeze.

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