We are now well into Fall and Patty Millay is celebrating by whipping up some delicious recipes in her kitchen.  Today, she's sharing her recipe for Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna.  This is a delicious, Fall-inspired take on comfort food.  Here's how to make it.

From Patty:

Well, it's Fall ya'll and I wanted to make something different but still in the Autumn family.  I saw this idea and just couldn't stop going back to it for another look.  This is a dish hearty enough to be dinner tonight and would also make an excellent side for your Thanksgiving meal.  I mean who really wants to look at another green bean casserole year after year.  Give your family something unexpected with this delicious vegetarian lasagna beside your bird!  Now ya'll know that I cheat on these recipes every time I can so I included the cheats at the bottom.

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SPINACH LASAGNA

For the squash::
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (4-5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the spinach:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves, packed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
For the noodles and topping:
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Arrange butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Bake until pierced easily with a fork, about 30 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly, then transfer squash to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup ricotta cheese, nutmeg, milk, and more salt and pepper, if needed. Pulse until mixture is smooth, adding more milk if needed.
  4. While squash bakes, prepare the spinach:
  5. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and saute onion until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  6. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove spinach mixture to a bowl and mix with 1 cup ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, and egg. Set aside.
  8. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  9. Spoon some of the squash sauce in the bottom of prepared 9x9 baking dish.
  10. Lay lasagna noodles on top, followed by some of the spinach and cheese mixture, followed by more of the squash sauce. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and a few more wilted spinach leaves, if desired.
  11. Cover dish with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and broil until golden brown, 2-3 minutes, if desired. Enjoy!
Cheats: 
     1.  I buy butternut squash that is already peeled and cubed.
     2.  I used 2 bags of baby spinach from the salad section at the grocery and I used1/2 stick of  butter not olive oil.
     3.  I don't boil my lasagna noodles.  I just soak them in hot water in a Tupperware dish for 40 minutes.  They will be
fine and they never tear apart.
     4.  I don't like to cook onions or minced garlic.  I used onion flakes and garlic flakes.  If I didn't tell you you'd never
know the difference.
     5.  I had some parsley and oregano on hand so I added a dash of each to the spinach just for fun.
     6.  I like a little kick in my food so I added just a pinch of red pepper flakes in the squash puree.

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