Meatless Monday – Butternut Squash and Porcini Mushroom Lasagna

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3-pound butternut squash, peeled, cut in half below the “neck”, seeds removed, cut into thin circles and half-moons using a mandoline or a sharp knife
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1-pound package of fresh Porcini mushrooms, sliced (could use any wild mushrooms)
  • 1 pound whole-milk Ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 6-ounce package of fresh lasagna sheets (see refrigerated pasta section)
  • 2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Filling Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Place squash slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat then sauté the mushrooms for about five minutes, stirring a few times. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Mix the Ricotta, Parmesan, egg and sage in a large bowl. Set aside.

Assembly Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Generously butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish using two tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
  3. In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir for three minutes, until bubbly but not browned. Add the cream and whole milk and whisk to fully incorporate the flour mixture into the liquids. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook the sauce until thickened, about 10 minutes, over low heat, whisking frequently.
  4. Add a ladle-full of white sauce to the buttered dish making sure the bottom is covered.
  5. Place two fresh lasagna sheets over the sauce. If the pasta sheets are too long, run them up the sides of the dish for crunchy corners when the lasagna bakes.
  6. Scoop half of the Ricotta cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles, spreading evenly.
  7. Place half of the butternut squash over the Ricotta.
  8. Arrange two more fresh lasagna sheets over the squash.
  9. Add two ladle-full of white sauce over the lasagna noodles.
  10. Sprinkle the sautéed mushrooms over the sauce.
  11. Top the mushrooms with two more fresh lasagna sheets.
  12. Place the last of the butternut squash over the lasagna sheets.
  13. Top the squash with the remaining Ricotta mixture.
  14. Cap the lasagna with the Mozzarella cheese then the Parmesan cheese.
  15. Coat a piece of foil large enough to cover the lasagna with cooking spray. Cover the lasagna with the foil for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven to broil and cook the lasagna for an additional 7-10 minutes, until browned. Allow the lasagna to cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County, NJ. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.