Sunday, October 23, 2011

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Mascarpone Lasagna

This lasagna is good. I don’t mean for that to sound generic. By saying it’s good, I mean it is really, really, really good in a “oh my gosh, how am I just now finding out about this” type of way. This has to be one of my favorite recipes I’ve tried so far. It sounded a little different, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I can tell you that these flavors all melt together perfectly. This just might be one of the perfect fall foods.

I came across this idea after buying a gigantic butternut squash at the farmers’ market. I’ve always like butternut squash, but this recipe has given me a new reason to love it.

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Mascarpone Lasagna

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Makes 8x8 pan

9-12 lasagna noodle sheets

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

12 ounces mascarpone cheese

1-1.5 tbsp unsalted butter

1 shallot, diced (can substitute sweet onion)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

olive oil for drizzling

The first time I made this recipe, I used two 7 oz ramekins. To do that, I made a 1/3 of the recipe. My reasoning was that my husband tends to not see lasagna without meat as being real food. I had my doubts he would help eat any, so I did not want an entire pan left over. Once I realized this lasagna was absolutely delicious, I made a full pan to take over to my in-laws, where it was well received and quickly gobbled up.

Now, here’s how to make this gorgeous, fall lasagna:

Preheat oven to 350. Peel and chop the butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the squash and potatoes on the foil and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss so that all the pieces are coated. Bake for 50 minutes until soft.

In the meantime, cook the lasagna noodles. Once the noodles are cooked, I set them out on wax paper so they don’t stick.

Next, melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the shallots and garlic. Heat on low and cook until they start to caramelize. Combine the caramelized shallots with the mascarpone and about ¾ cup of the parmesan.

Once the squash and sweet potatoes are out of the oven, use a fork or potato masher to mash them. When I made the full batch, I threw them in my electric mixer.

I took pictures of the batch I made in ramekins, so that’s what I’ll describe here. The layers are the same for a full pan- noodle, squash mixture, mascarpone mixture, mozzarella/parmesan, noodle, etc.

For the ramekins, I began by spraying them with non-stick spray. Next, I put my noodles down by crossing them in a "T" pattern, pressing them down in the ramekin with the sides still hanging over.

Spread some of the squash and sweet potato mixture in the bottom.

Then spread some of the mascarpone mixture. Top that with some of the shredded mozzarella and parmesan.

Fold one set of the arms over the top of the cheese. Begin the process again with the squash, followed by the mascarpone and shredded cheese.

Fold the final set of arms over the top, and repeat with the squash and mascarpone. Top with the shredded cheese.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes. If using the 8x8 pan, bake for about 45 minutes.

I’m trying to figure out a version for my husband that adds meat. Bacon? Andouille sausage? I’m sure I’ll be making this enough to try all the different variations.

Just look at those beautiful fall colors. Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks. C’mon, try this recipe. You know you want to.

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