Don’t Kale My Vibe… Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna!

Thanksgiving rolled around in our family and to be honest I was not ready for it.  I love cooking (obviously) and making a menu for a  holiday is something I look forward to. This Thanksgiving my sister and I had no clue what we were making for all of our family coming into town. We had two requirements.. 1. It has to feed A LOT of people 2. It better be good. Our family is used to great cooking and when my Honey is out of the kitchen we have a lot to live up to.  I love butternut squash and have always wanted to try a savory lasagna using it. Let me be the first to say that we have picky eaters in our family. I am talking the ones who will not touch a veggie with a 10 foot pole. This recipe was DEVOURED. That is saying a lot. My three boy cousins raved about this lasagna and that is quite the compliment. Do not get overwhelmed by the ingredient list or the time it takes to make it. It is worth it! Pour yourself a glass of Pinot Nior turn on some Frank Sinatra and get to cooking.

MAKE THIS…… That’s all I’ve got.

final

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds sweet Italian sausage (if links, casings removed)
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 ounces white button mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Two 15-ounce cans butternut squash puree
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Filling:
2 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 cup chopped cooked kale (use a kitchen towel to squeeze out any excess moisture from the kale)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Lasagna:
Sea salt
1 pound lasagna noodles (Oven ready)**
Olive oil, for drizzling
Nonstick cooking spray, for the casserole dish
4 cups shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions- Pre-heat your oven to 400
For the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it browns. When the sausage has cooked to golden brown, about 8 minutes, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits left on the bottom of the skillet. Deglaze with 2 tablespoons water. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned.

.mushroom-mix

Stir in the garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add the sausage back to the skillet. Stir in the canned butternut squash, cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.

butternut
For the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, kale, sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper, eggs and nutmeg. Stir to combine and set aside.

ricotta
For the lasagna: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Layering Process:
Spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon about a cup of the sauce into the dish, spreading it to cover the bottom. Arrange half the lasagna noodles over the sauce, then begin layering first with half of the ricotta filling, then half of the sauce, then half of the mozzarella. Continue layering with the remaining noodles, filling and sauce, finishing with mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Tap the casserole on the counter to force out any air bubbles.
Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the lasagna is bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes so it can set and be cut easily.

its-baked

Recipe Courtesy: Food Network

 

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