A Fall Lasagna for the Senses

October 12, 2015

Lasagna comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors.  Like most fall foods, this lasagna is inspired by the rich spices associated with the season. This particular variation combines roasted butternut squash with Italian sausage and layers that with a sage flavored cheese mixture and the noodles.  You can make this ahead of time and freeze it for an easy dinner during the week.

Fall Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 package no bake lasagna noodles
1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 lb sweet or spicy Italian sausage
4 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Step 2: Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Bake until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3: Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat and brown the sausage.  Line a plate with paper towels and drain the excess oil from the sausage.  Once cooked, transfer to the plate. Return the sausage to the skillet and then add the butternut squash.

Step 4: In a bowl, combine sage, ricotta cheese, heavy cream, eggs, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated.  

Step 5: In a casserole dish, place a layer of lasagna noodles and cover with the butternut squash and sausage mixture.  Next, add the cheese topping.  Repeat this step two more times, ending with the cheese layer.

Step 6: Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.  Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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