Okay, once you start getting emails from readers expressing their concern for your well-being, it’s time to stop being the Absentee Blogger and come clean.

I have been preoccupied by A Life Changing Plan to Actualize My Hopes and Dreams with my co-conspirator, Brian. I will tell you about said plan in good time, I promise. In the meantime, I made this butternut squash lasagna with pork and sage ragu to try and make it up to you.

I know, I know, I’m such a tease. Just look at the lasagna and deal.






not cheez whiz


Butternut Squash Lasagna

For the red sauce:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
2 24oz. bottles strained tomatoes
20 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the white sauce:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. AP flour
4 c. whole milk
1 c. grated parm
2 c. roasted and pureed butternut squash (approx. 2 lbs. fresh squash)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg

no-boil lasagna noodles
additional 1 c. grated parm

Step 1: Roast the squash. Peel, seed and roughly chop a two pound butternut squash. Preheat your oven to 425. Toss the squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast until easily pierced with a fork and brown around the edges, 30-40 minutes. Dump the cooked squash into a FoPro and process until smooth. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the red sauce while the squash is cooking. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and carrot and cook until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook one minute more. Push the veg to the sides of the pan and add the pork; saute until the pork is cooked through and starting to brown. Add the tomatoes, sage, cinnamon and s+p to taste. Simmer, uncovered, for 20-3o minutes. Check the seasoning again and adjust as needed.

Step 3: Make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes; don’t let the roux brown much. Whisk in the milk and let come to a boil to activate the Full Thickening Power of the roux. Whisk the cheese, squash puree, garlic and nutmeg into the thickened sauce and cook together for 4-5 minutes. Check the seasoning and add s+p as needed. Warning: this sauce will look a lot like Cheez Whiz. I’m sorry.

Step 4: Assemble and bake the lasagna. Preheat your oven to 350. Start layering in a 9×13 pan: Squash bechamel on the bottom, noodles, meat sauce, bechamel, noodles, meat sauce, bechamel, noodles, and so on and so forth. Finish by sprinkling with the rest of the grated cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

5 thoughts on “Shenanigans

  1. About time your ass showed up. And that’s a lot of saucepans. But I made lasagna tonight, too, and I’ll bet mine was near-bout not as good as yours.

  2. I’m glad someone got you back here…. I thought maybe you were tired of shenanigans, but I guess not.


    I made a similar dish w/out the red sauce last week, it rocked.

  3. Well it’s about time! I was beginning to think you’d just gone back to NC to immerse yourself in BBQ and wait for fall and winter to pass. Butternut squash lasagna? Well, I love lasagna, love butternut squash, but I’m sort of on the fence about combining to two. I may have to go out on a limb and try it, just to satisfy my curiosity. Besides, you never steer me wrong, so I feel compelled to accept the pairing. Off to the farmer’s market for squash!

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