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Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
This recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. It's especially popular with vegetarian guests... but a hit with carnivores too. There's no red sauce... it's entirely different from traditional lasagna... but oh so good! Cook's Note:The no-boil lasagna noodles can be substituted with fresh spinach lasagna sheets. Look for fresh lasagna sheets in the refrigerated section of specialty markets.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1⁄2-2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 3 amaretti cookies, crumbled
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 3⁄4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaf
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 2 1⁄2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet 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. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender*. Add the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.
- Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.
- *When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
Wow... this was great. I made a few changes just to lighten it up. I used fat free milk for the sauce and fat free mozarella cheese. I also added a layer of low fat ricotta with spinach because of some of the other reviews. So good, I will make again soon!
Made for vegetarian dinner party. 4 Star review since the original recipe does not include the following addition 2 - 16 oz containers of 4% cottage cheese mixed with 2 beaten eggs for additional protein & necessary body for a main dish similar to my regular lasagna. I also used the whole box of lasagna noodles (16 oz) so the cheese quantities and sauce need to be doubled if you are going that route. I used my largest baking dish (what you would cook a turkey in) 18" x 12" x 3". Turned out well, but may try with other more flavorful cheese next time white cheddar / mozz mix. Could also add cooked frozen spinach to the cottage cheese & egg mix. Freezes cooked well too! Happy Cooking!