Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna

Lasagna Sometimes I like to partake in Meat-less Monday’s and that’s where the idea for this recipe came from. I’m over the typical bell peppers, onions and mushrooms as the main vegetarian option and I wanted to think of something extra yummy and slightly sweet.  Spinach and roasted butternut squash was the perfect substitute.

I frequent a certain area of town and pass a place called Fabio’s multiple times a week. I had never been in but before making this recipe, I made a quick stop to check it out. I knew they made fresh pasta and needed to see what exactly they offered. The owner was so warm and accommodating. He even cut lasagna pasta sheets to the size of my pans. I will never turn back to the hard dried lasagna sheets again! I’m sticking with fresh all the way 🙂

Below is my best marinara recipe. I was a little hesitant to share but I’ve come to grips that the world needs this recipe. While in culinary school, I interned at a local restaurant, Mockingbird Bistro. The cooks and chef put a lot of love into their marinara sauce and I could taste the complexity of flavors. Taking the time to brown the (mirepoix) celery, carrot and onions makes such a difference in flavor. Each step adds another dimension to the flavor, that’s why I’m in love with this recipe. Also, I took a cooking class in Italy and a lot of the methods were similar and solidified my feelings about it.

Once the lasagna was baked, all of the flavors combined into the best veggie lasagna I have ever made. The corners got a little crispy but I was able to cut around it. The inside was cheesy, sweet and slightly salty- all of my favorite flavors.

Lasagna

 

Print Recipe
Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 82 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Ingredients
Best Marinara Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 82 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Ingredients
Best Marinara Sauce
Instructions
Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and roast butternut squash for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Mix ricotta, ¾ c mozzarella, ¼ c parmesan, salt, pepper and oregano in bowl and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to 350 and coat 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  4. Spread 1/2 c tomato sauce (recipe below) on bottom and top with 3 noodles to cover (or 1 if using fresh). Top the noodles with half butternut squash and half spinach. Dollop half ricotta mixture on top then add 1 cup tomato sauce on top. Repeat this layer one more time, pressing down on the filling as you add the layer. Put the remaining sheet(s) on top. Spread the remaining sauce on top then add ¾ c mozzarella and ¼ c parmesan. Cover with foil with cooking spray on the inside.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake 7 more minutes so the cheese browns. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Best Marinara Sauce
  1. Sauté onion, garlic and shallot in olive oil until fragrant. Add celery and carrots. Cook until veggies are brown and soft. A few pinches of salt and pepper along the way to help relieve moisture. Deglaze pan with red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the bay leaf, thyme, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir then cover and simmer for 20 or so minutes. Taste and add salt or pepper. Now, add heavy cream or milk. This will make the sauce less acidic and extra delicious. Stir and cook on low for 5 minutes.
  2. Adaptation: put onion garlic, shallot, carrot, and celery in food processor and grind until there are no visible pieces. Brown this in olive oil for less chunky sauce. Add water if you like it less thick.

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