Usually, I have at least tasted a recipe before I post it here, but not this time.
I made up this lasagna, starting with this Giada De Laurentiis recipe and then adapting to the ingredients at hand, when I was visiting my parents at Christmas. I baked it late one night and portioned it out into single-meal servings for the freezer. When I visited again last week, my mom asked that I make it again. So I think it must taste pretty good, but you’ll have to ask her.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) winter squash
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
4-5 fresh sage leaves
12 lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 375.
Lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it on the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake until tender (about 30 minutes). When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skin and puree it in a food processor with the ricotta cheese. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside.
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; crush the sage leaves between your fingers a bit and then add them to the sauce, too. 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. Fish out the sage leaves and discard them.
Lightly oil 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 mixture 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, the Parmesan, and the hazelnuts 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.