Pumpkins and Butternut Squash are in season again, and M&M inspired me to make butternut squash lasagne. I used her recipe for Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna as a starting point and made my own version. Often I find dishes with pumpkin or butternut squash to be lacking in taste, but this turned out really well. This was also the first time I made fresh wholemeal pasta, since I agree with M&M that it complements the squash nicely. You could also make it with white flour only as the difference in taste was quite subtle.
Making lasagne from scratch is a lot of work, but you can do it all beforehand if you’re serving this at a dinner party.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-3 cm (1 inch) dice
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-2 cm (1/2 inch) dice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
6 small or 2 large amaretti cookies
1 onion, chopped
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
freshly grated fontina cheese
freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
For the pasta
100 grams (5/8 cup) wholemeal flour
100 grams (5/8 cup) 00 flour
For the bechamel sauce
500 ml (2 cups) milk
4 Tbsp 00 flour
4 Tbsp (55 grams) butter
Preheat oven to 225C/450F. In an oven dish, combine squash, carrot, onion, brown sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Season with freshly grated nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper, and salt. Toss to mix.
Roast at 225C/450F for half an hour. Toss and put back into the oven.
Roast for another half hour until the squash is tender (check with a fork) and caramelized.
Meanwhile, make the pasta dough according to my instructions, cover it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Roll out the pasta.
Cut it into 8 sheets of about half the size of your lasagne dish (taking into account that the lasagne will expand when cooked).
Parboil lasagne sheets in salted boiling water for 30 seconds, two sheets at a time.
Remove them with a slotted spoon and cool in cold water.
Let them drain on kitchen towels.
Put the roasted squash into the food processor with the sage leaves and crumbled amaretti cookies, making sure to add all the juices from the oven dish.
Process until you obtain a coarse puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, freshly ground black pepper, freshly grated nutmeg, or brown sugar.
To make the bechamel sauce, start by melting the butter in a saucepan.
Off the heat, add the flour.
Stir to make a roux.
Cook over low heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then.
Meanwhile, heat the milk (in the microwave) until hot but not boiling.
Add the hot milk all at once to the roux and whisk quickly to avoid lumps. Let the bechamel cook gently for a few minutes and keep stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
Put the squash puree in a bowl and add half of the bechamel sauce.
Stir to mix.
Butter a lasagne dish and cover the bottom with a thin layer of bechamel sauce.
Cover the remaining bechamel with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
Add a layer of lasagne sheets, cutting them to size if necessary.
Cover with 1/3 of the squash mixture.
Sprinkle generously with freshly grated parmigiano and freshly grated fontina.
Add two more layers of lasagne sheets, squash mixture, and cheese. Add the final layer of lasagne sheets.
Cover with the remaining bechamel sauce.
Cover with a nice layer of freshly grated parmigiano and freshly grated fontina. Dot with bits of butter.
Bake in the oven at 200C/400F until golden, about 30 minutes.
Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
This may be a bit tricky because of the sugar. What works very well is a pinot bianco from Alto Adige that is very slightly off-dry. A German Weissburgunder will also work, again if it is not too dry (e.g. auslese or spätlese).