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.
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.