Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Made this one evening when I wanted a lighter lasagna with bright flavor. The result was a brilliant green béchamel sauce (French cream sauce) with roasted butternut squash. Perfect for a party or bringing to a friend’s house!

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Makes 1 large pan- 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ cups whole milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • ¾ cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small box fresh baby spinach
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cup grated Romano cheese

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Pulse a few times to roughly puree. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil while whisking continuously. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens. Whisk in a pinch of salt and the nutmeg. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender and blend at low speed for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. (careful to let the steam escae slightly so blender top doesn’t explode off) blend in 2 handfuls of baby spinach and all of basil until smooth and a nice bright green. Whisk sauce from the blender back into pot with the other half of the sauce and season to taste. Over low heat whisk in 1 cup of mozzarella and whisk until smooth and cheese is melted.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F and position a rack into the center.
  4. Lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking dish. Spread about ¾ cup of the green sauce evenly over the bottom. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with a little Romano cheese and then the sauce, and then repeat layering until ingredients are used up.