Butternut Squash Lasagna
“Nick Massie of PaleoNick.com brings us a decadent spin on traditional lasagna for a real Italian treat.
First step: meat sauce.
‘One of the things we have to think about is that (the butternut squash) isn’t really seasoned,’ Massie says, ‘so I’m gonna make (the sauce) a little bit stronger flavored.’
Onions, garlic and basil are essential to developing a flavorful sauce. Some ground red chili is also recommended if you like a bit of spice.
To make the squash ‘noodles,’ Massie has some tips for slicing your butternut squash safely.
‘I’m going to show you—probably the hardest part about making this—and that’s going to be cutting this squash into lasagna-type strips,’ he says.
When it’s time to assemble your lasagna, put the dish together the good old-fashioned way—create layer after layer of squash noodles and hearty meat sauce. Pop it in the oven and 60-90 minutes later you’ll have eight three-block meals.
• 4 lb. butternut squash—shaft portion of approximately 2 squash—sliced to ¼-in. thickness|
• 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
• 15 oz. diced tomatoes
• 2 c. onions, diced
• 1 lb. Italian sausage
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 c. fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
• 8 cloves garlic, minced
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Red chili, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. To prepare meat sauce, start by heating an 8-qt. stockpot over medium-high heat.
3. Add the olive oil and garlic and stir until garlic is toasted, then add the onions.
4. Season the beef with kosher salt and pepper, then push the onions and garlic to one side of the pan and place the beef seasoned side down in the other half of the pan.
5. Season the topside of the beef with salt and pepper and add the Italian sausage. Break up beef and sausage into large chunks and fold in onions and garlic.
6. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the meat is about 85 percent cooked, add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer.
7. While the sauce is heating up, prepare your basil leaves by stacking them, rolling them and slicing them into a chiffonade.
8. Once meat sauce reaches a simmer, cut the heat and fold in the basil. Season one last time with salt and pepper keeping in mind the sauce needs to be strong flavored because the squash is unseasoned.
9. Add ground red chili if you prefer a bit of spice.
10. To assemble the lasagna, oil the bottom of a 9-by-13-in. pan and add two cups of meat sauce.
11. Spread sauce into a uniform layer, then top it with a layer of the sliced butternut squash.
12. Add 2 to 3 c. of meat sauce, and then another layer of butternut squash. This time, alternate the direction of the squash “noodles.”
13. Repeat steps one more time to make 3 layers of meat sauce and noodles. Top with remaining meat sauce.
14. Place lasagna pan on a foil-lined sheet pan and place in oven for approximately 90 minutes, or until a butter knife will insert easily into all areas.
15. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. 16. Portion out into 8 3-block servings and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. Buon appetito!
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