One meal I hardly get to eat when I’m at school is pasta. And it’s a shame because I LOVE pasta. In my house, pasta is typically reserved for 2 occasions: holidays and Sundays. Well, today was Sunday
I saw a picture of butternut squash lasagna in Clean Eating magazine and headed over to their website to get the recipe, it looked that good. I knew my dad would love it, but I had a feeling that my mom wouldn’t be on board. She’s very traditional Italian, and to her, butternut squash belongs no where NEAR lasagna. Plus, she’s always a little leery about what new concoction I want to try. Surprisingly, she agreed (after vetoing the toasted walnuts and the sage– it’s all about the compromise).
Thank God she did, because this was a winner. Honestly, it was one of the best lasagnas Ive ever had. And the good part about this recipe is that it makes leftovers, so you have a meal for the next couple night (and it freezes too!)
So lets get down to it, shall we??
[recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine]
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lb)
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 3 medium Spanish onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (we make our own but store bought works too!!)
- 1/2 lb whole-wheat lasagna noodles, about 12 noodles
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cut and peel squash and remove seeds. Lightly brush cut sides with 1 tsp oil and place, onto an aluminum-lined baking tray. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until squash is tender. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tsp oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high. Add onions, stir and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
- Put the squash into the food processor. Add ricotta, nutmeg, egg whites and Parmesan and process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and gently fold in caramelized onions.
- Reserve 1/2 cup mozzarella, cover and refrigerate until needed. Assemble lasagna: Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with about 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Top with a single layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping slightly, then 1 cup butternut squash mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers once, starting with 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over mozzarella. Repeat layers once again. Finish with 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce, a layer of noodles, remaining butternut squash (about 1/3 cup, depending on size of squash) and remaining 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Cover dish with foil, place onto a baking tray and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 375°F. Remove foil, top lasagna with reserved 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove lasagna from oven and allow to rest and set for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into 12 servings. Enjoy! Lasagna can be kept frozen for up to 3 months, refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
We actually baked this a couple hours before hand, then let it sit. When we were ready to eat, we just warmed it up. Something about giving it extra time to rest really makes pasta better!
I judged the success of this recipe by whether my mom liked it or not. She had two servings so I’m taking that as a yes (and of course she told me she loved it too!) The butternut squash layer was so thick and creamy, and the addition of the caramelized onion is to die for! It was really a perfect meal for the weekend. We also paired our lasagna was whole wheat bread (obviously, what kind of Italians would we be without bread, are you nuts?) and a salad –bc vegetables. If you’re looking for something delicious and a little bit out of the box, then you need to give this a try, you wont be disappointed!