Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onions Lasagna

From Edible Green Mountains, Winter 2010

Cheesy, gooey and satisfying, this wintery take on lasagna stars butternut squash, sage and thyme in the roles traditionally played by tomato, oregano and basil.

Serves 8 to 10

1 pound lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
3 large sweet onions, sliced into ¼-inch rings
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups grated mixed Parmesan and Romano cheeses
Salt and black pepper
3 large eggs

Cook the pasta until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and onions and sauté for 20 minutes, until the onions are soft and beginning to turn golden. Transfer to a bowl and return the skillet to the stovetop.

Add the squash, broth, 1 tablespoon of the thyme and 1 tablespoon of the sage to the skillet. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is just tender, about 6 minutes. Uncover and cook until the squash is very soft but still retains its shape, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid for another use.

Stir together the ricotta, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1½ cups of the Parmesan cheese mixture, the remaining 2 tablespoons thyme and the remaining 1 tablespoon sage in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 9- by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

Spread 1½ cups of the ricotta mixture over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange three noodles on top. Spread 2 cups of the ricotta mixture over noodles. Arrange half of the squash slices over. Sprinkle with half the onions and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Top with three noodles, then 2 cups ricotta mixture, the remaining squash, remaining onions and remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Finish with a layer of three noodles, then the remaining 2 cups ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan mixture. Cover with oiled aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top begins to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. (The lasagna can be assembled 1 day ahead and refrigerated).

Enjoy!

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