Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
Making homemade pasta may seem arduous, but this dish is worth the extra work. The sheets, which are layered between the sage and butternut squash filling, encompass the lasagna once it's assembled. Look for amaretti cookies in Italian markets. They add a sweet note to the otherwise savory dish.
For the Filling
- 2 large butternut squashes (about 2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeded
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 1/4 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 8 ounces), plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup finely crushed amaretti cookies, plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage, plus more if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more if needed
For the Bechamel
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cups whole milk
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Make the filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle squash halves with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast squashes, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet until tender and browned, about 1 hour. Let cool. Scoop flesh from skins, and puree in a food processor until smooth.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook until browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Combine 3 cups squash puree, 1 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons amaretti cookies, sage, browned butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Adjust seasoning as desired with more Parmesan, amaretti cookies, sage, salt, and nutmeg.
Make the bechamel: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking often, for 3 minutes (do not let flour brown).
Meanwhile, bring milk to a gentle simmer in another small saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk hot milk into the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg. Raise heat to medium, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the raw flour taste is gone, 5 to 10 minutes more. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Assemble the lasagna: Coat bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of bechamel (about 1/2 cup). Arrange two 8-by-21-inch sheets cooked pasta on top, barely overlapping, to cover bottom and sides of dish. (Edges of pasta should hang over sides by about 2 inches.)
Top with 3/4 cup squash filling, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon amaretti cookies. Top with 1 sheet of pasta (fill in any gaps with pieces of another sheet if needed), trimming edges as needed so that pasta fits neatly in dish.
Top pasta with 3/4 cup bechamel and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Continue layering in same order (pasta, squash and amaretti, pasta, bechamel and Parmesan) until you reach the top of the dish, ending with 1 sheet of pasta (you may need to fill in gaps with pieces of another sheet; you should have 10 layers of pasta). Fold in the overhang from the first layer of pasta to create a package. Trim pasta sheets as needed to prevent too much overlap, then spread remaining bechamel over top.
Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 20 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until top is browned, about 35 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.