Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Lasagne with Portobello Mushrooms,
Dried Tomatoes and Butternut Squash

Serves 6



One 2 lb. butternut squash (you can use two 1 lb. squashes
   if you can't find one that is 2 lb.)
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 lb. lasagne
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1-1/3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp. jar chopped garlic)
1 lb. mixed, fresh mushrooms (variety your preference)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted in enough hot water to
   cover for 15 minutes, and julienne (or you can use oil-packed
   dried tomatoes, drained very well and julienne)
1-1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 cup grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/2 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Spray a baking pan well with cooking spray, and heat oven to 400° F. Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise. with a large spoon, remove seeds and membranes. Place squash, cut side down in prepared baking pan. Pour water over squash. Roast until skin has darkened and squash is very soft, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and drain any remaining water, but keep oven on at 400° F. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh with a large spoon. Place in a food processor, with 3 tbsp. butter and cream. purée until well blended, but with a little bit of texture, not totally smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley, season well with salt and pepper, and set aside.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook lasagne until only halfway cooked, according to pkg. directions (usually about 7-8 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold water. Spread the lasagne on clean kitchen towels, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Make a bechamel sauce: In a saucepan, melt 4 tbsp. butter until melted and foamy. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Pour in milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly over the heat until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms are golden brown. Add dried tomatoes, rosemary, and vinegar; cook about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper.

Spray a large baking pan with cooking. Pour about 1/2 cup of béchamel sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Line with a layer of lasagne. Then spread 1/3 of the squash purée, 1/3 of mushroom mixture & sprinkle with 1/4 cup Romano cheese. Top with sauce. Add 2nd layer of lasagne, then another 1/3 of the squash purée, mushroom mixture and another 1/2 cup of the sauce. Add another lasagne layer, remaining squash, remaining mushroom mixture and 1/4 cup of Romano cheese. Top with remaining noodles and sauce, then remaining Romano, and remaining parsley.

Lightly coat a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, and use it to tightly cover the baking dish. Bake the lasagne for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for additional 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly brown and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


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This page created November 1998