Saturday, January 14, 2012

RECIPE: Butternut Squash Lasagna

I am always looking for new foods and recipes to try. I am enjoying making delicious dishes from foods I have never tried. Today I wen to Trader Joe's with no particular grocery list. I came home with several vegetables and some Italian sausage. I figured I'd just wing it, but then I came across a recipe for lasagna using butternut squash and Italian sausage! I decided to give it a try, but with my usual modifications and alterations to suit my taste.


  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A couple of leaves of fresh basil (leave it out if you don’t have it, just freshens up the sauce a bit)
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Spaghetti Seasoning
  • 1 small butternut squash
1. Heat your oven to 400ºF. 
2. In a saute pan crumble the sausage and brown it, along with the onions & garlic. 
3. Prepare the squash by cutting the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into quarters. First in half around the center, then from stem to bottom. This will make it much easier to cut into slices. Pull out the seeds. Cut into slices to layer in the lasagna.
4. Make the sauce by pureeing the tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, basil and spaghetti seasoning. I'll post directions for roasting a pepper using a gas stove at the end of this recipe.
5. Using a 9X9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up. Reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.

6. Bake for 45 minutes. The wonderful aroma that will fill your kitchen will have your mouth watering with anticipation. As you can see, that's a lot of liquid surrounding the lasagna. If you'll let it rest for 20 minutes or so a lot of it will be absorbed.
 I cheated. I added some freshly grated English cheddar cheese with caramelized onions!
1. Wash the pepper and dry it thoroughly.
2. Set the flame to medium high and place the pepper on the burner.
3. After the skin blackens, turn it. Repeat until thoroughly blackened.

4. Place pepper in a paper bag for 15 minutes. 
5. Remove from bag, remove skin.
6. Cut top off, remove seeds, and slice!
Left over peppers may be stored in a jar in the refrigerator. Be sure to fill the jar with olive oil to retain the best flavor possible. If you have a lot of roasted peppers, you can freeze them. Place strips between sheets of waxed paper and keep in a sealed container until ready to use. They should stay fresh tasting for several months. 

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