LASAGNE WITH HAZELNUTS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH

LASAGNE WITH HAZELNUTS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH (for six)

pasta-lasagne-with-hazelnuts-sage-and-butternut-squash-1 pasta-lasagne-with-hazelnuts-sage-and-butternut-squash-3

 

For the filling:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled (make sure to remove all of the hard green and white peel — cut all the way down to the orange flesh — or the squash won‘t cook evenly), seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 cup (about 4 ounces) hazelnuts, toasted, loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel, coarsely chopped

 

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 cups whole milk

1 Turkish bay leaf or ½ California bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

 

For assembling:

2 cups coarsely grated fresh mozzarella (about 8 ounces)

1 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (about 2 ounces)

twelve 7 x 3 inch lasagne noodles, either oven-ready (no boil, soaked in a bowl of very warm water for 3 to 5 minutes so that they will be pliable enough to trim to fit your baking dish, if necessary) or dried (cooked according to package instructions and separated)


  1. Make the filling: Melt butter in a deep 12 inch heavy skillet over moderate  heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add squash, garlic, salt and white pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley, sage and nuts.  Let cool.
  1. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt butter in a 3 quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux.  Add milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly.  Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Whisk in salt and white pepper and remove from heat.  Discard bay leaf.  (Cover surface of sauce with wax paper if not using immediately.)
  1. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 425*. Butter a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
  1. Assemble the lasagne: Toss cheeses together.  Spread ½ cup sauce in buttered baking dish and cover with 3 lasagne noodles (if you are using no-boil lasagne noodles, leave space between them and do not allow them to touch the edges of the pan.  They will expand as they bake.  If you have boiled lasagne noodles, overlap them slightly).  Spread with 2/3 cup sauce and one third of filling, then sprinkle with a heaping ½ cup of the cheeses.  Top with 3 more noodles and another 2/3 cup sauce, one third filling and a heaping ½ cup cheeses.  Repeat layering one more time, beginning with sauce and ending with cheeses, then top with the remaining 3 lasagne noodles, remaining sauce and remaining cheeses.
  1. Tightly cover baking dish with buttered foil and bake lasagne for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 15 minutes more (If the top of the lasagne is not sufficiently browned, run it under a broiler for no more than 2 minutes).  Let lasagne stand for 15 minutes before serving.

 

NOTE:  The filling and sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.  Bring to room temperature before assembling the lasagne.

 

adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

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