Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe


Photo: Johnny Miller

From Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well 

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Whole-Wheat Noodles and Sage Tofu Ricotta
Serves 8

This lasagna was inspired by butternut squash ravioli with sage, one of my favorite Italian dishes. The texture of the squash and tofu ricotta is velvety smooth with a layer of succulent caramelized onions and folds of nutty, whole-wheat noodles to give it structure. This dish is always a crowd-pleaser and makes a wonderful vegetarian main course for Thanksgiving or any holiday celebration.

Note: If you can’t find no-boil whole-wheat noodles, make the recipe with regular whole-wheat noodles. Just cook them according to the directions on the package, drain, and rinse well before layering.

2 medium-large butternut squash (6 pounds)
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing squash
1½ teaspoons sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pan
10 garlic cloves, cut in ¼-inch slices
2 15-ounce blocks plain, firm tofu, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
5 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup chopped sage, plus 8 whole leaves to garnish
1 package no-boil whole-wheat lasagna noodles

EQUIPMENT: 8×12-inch or 9×13-inch lasagna pan

MAKE THE SQUASH PURÉE: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut neck off butternut squash, and cut neck and bottom in half lengthwise. Rub squash with olive oil and place cut-side down on parchment-lined tray. Roast for 50 minutes or until you can pierce the flesh easily with a knife. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you cook the onions. Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out seeds with a spoon and peel off skin. Compost seeds and skin. Add squash to food processor with 1½ teaspoons sea salt and a pinch of black pepper. Blend until completely smooth; place in a bowl and set aside. Rinse out food processor.

CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS: Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions. Sauté for 10 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add salt, lower heat slightly, and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes or until onions are soft and caramelized. Remove from heat and set half the onions aside for layering in the lasagna. Place remaining onions in a food processor.

MAKE THE TOFU RICOTTA: Warm olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add garlic, reduce heat a little, and simmer until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Crumble tofu into food processor with onions and add brown rice vinegar, ume plum vinegar, sea salt, a pinch of black pepper, and garlic-oil mixture. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add chopped sage and process until incorporated. Place in a bowl and set aside a heaping ½ cup of ricotta mixture for garnishing top of lasagna.

ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush lasagna pan with olive oil. Spread ¾ cup squash purée over bottom of pan and top with a single layer of noodles. Spread 1½ cups squash purée over noodles, then top with half of tofu ricotta. Repeat with another layer of noodles and another 1½ cups squash purée. Spread caramelized onions over squash and top with a final layer of noodles. Cover with remaining tofu ricotta, and top with remaining squash purée. Spoon 8 dots of reserved tofu ricotta evenly over top, press a sage leaf into each one, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Cover with parchment paper and then with foil; bake for 50 minutes or until noodles are tender and lasagna is heated through. To test, insert a knife into center; you shouldn’t feel any resistance. If noodles are still firm, continue cooking covered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 10 minutes more or until top layer of squash looks set. Remove from oven and allow to sit at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

Store any leftover lasagna in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Warm covered in the oven until heated through.

More ways to cook butternut squash:
How to Slice Butternut Squash
Herbed Butternut Squash Chips
Butternut Squash Soufflé