Autumn lasagna: butternut squash with sausage, chard, & fresh mozzarella

This is the original post, published October 2012. Link to indexed and formatted recipe here: Autumn Lasagna 

squash lasagna

Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. It’s hard to say just what led to this experiment in the kitchen: was it the 25 pounds of winter squash from my very last CSA distribution of the year? Was it the homemade mozzarella just begging to be used? While this recipe has a lot of steps, the end result is totally worthwhile. I also note that if you happen to have leftovers of chard or squash, it’s just that little bit easier. 

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Sausage, Chard, & Fresh Mozzarella

Prepare filling layers first, and set them aside for assembly:

  • about 3 cups roasted and mashed butternut squash
  • 1 lb sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 1 bunch chard leaves, sliced into strips and sautéed
  • 3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, in thin slices
  • noodles – I used Barilla no-boil noodles, but if you prefer the type you cook first, well, cook them and have them drained and ready to use
  • 1/2 c more grated Parmesan or a blend to your taste

Make a bechamel sauce, thicken it further with eggs, & add cheese:

  • 2/3 stick butter
  • 2/3 c flour
  • 6 c milk (warm)
  • 8-10 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c grated Parmesan or Asiago/Parmesan blend
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Add sage leaves to the milk and begin heating it – you want to infuse the sage flavor into the milk. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add flour, stir well, and make a roux, stirring for 3 min or so. Whisk in the milk, stirring well. Heat to a full boil, stirring frequently, and cook until thick. Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the sage leaves in there; they’ll just add more flavor.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the nutmeg and a bit of salt and pepper. Slowly pour the eggs into the Bechamel sauce, whisking constantly. Add the grated cheese, and whisk until that is incorporated. Now you can set this sauce aside.

Assemble the lasagna! You could use a 9×13 pan, but I wanted to keep a small one in the freezer for later, so I used one 8×8 and one loaf pan, which is a perfect one-noodle lasagna size for two people. At any rate, grease your pan, so the lasagna won’t stick.

Heat your oven to 375˚F. Assemble the lasagna layers in this order, making sure to end with a layer of noodles covered with sauce:

  • spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish
  • lasagna noodles
  • squash
  • one third of the sliced mozzarella
  • bechamel sauce
  • noodles
  • crumbled cooked sausage
  • one third of the sliced mozzarella
  • bechamel sauce
  • noodles
  • sauteéd chard
  • one third of the sliced mozzarella
  • bechamel sauce
  • noodles
  • bechamel sauce

My baking dishes were getting full, and being a cautious sort, I put them on a half-sheet pan so any drips wouldn’t hit the oven floor. Cover the dishes (use foil if you’ve no lids) and bake at 375 about 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle the tops with the last of your grated cheese, and return to bake 20-30 minutes more, until the cheese is well browned, and the lasagna is bubbling hot.


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