Well besides being a song from one of my favorite bands it is in fact my birthday. I love birthdays in general and of course I love my birthday. I cannot wait to share with you fun birthday activities that are planned, of course once I find out what those are....it's a surprise to me isn't that fun?! Stay tuned for that and in the meantime enjoy my acorn squash lasagna experience.
I have a confession to make. In the past year or so I've developed a serious love-affair with lasagna. In the three short months of my little blog I've already talked about a vegetable lasagna that I love. It's a funny thing because I am not talking the red-sauce and meat lasagna variety. I enjoy that lasagna just fine but I love asparagus in my lasagna or a béchamel sauce laden lasagna because really what's not to like about that?
So this week when we got an acorn squash in the CSA I started searching the good ole internet for inspiration. Naturally, I was drawn to Martha Stewart's Acorn Squash Recipe. Now here's the catch about this recipe, it has multiple steps and it adds up to be fairly time consuming. This is why I would characterize this as a weekend recipe. But if you are anything like me you won't mind the time because it is worth the effort!
Roast two whole acorn squash. Now you could zip these in the microwave and cut the time in half. I think this is the wrong way to go. First, you only save about 30 minutes in comparison to the 60 minutes in the oven. Second, I think you lose the depth of flavor roasting can develop. So no pressure but make the right decision and I think you know what that is.
Gotta prepare the squash. Now Martha recommends using a food processor but I decided on a blender because I'm the decider. I sprinkle in a little nutmeg in because it is a nice fall flavor and Martha said to do it. So a tip about preparing the acorn squash, let it cool off just a bit. Seriously no one needs to burnt finger tips.
The layering of this lasagna is a little different than you might expect. It goes a little something like this, squash--noodles--cheese--noodles--squash and so on. Make sure to end with a cheese layer and top with a little extra parmesan then pop in the oven to bake.
Now it's time to admire the fruits of your labor. Doesn't that pan look so yummy and inviting. Aren't you just dying to cut into it and take a bite? This is absolutely not the right thing to do. Unless you enjoy molten squash in your mouth. Give it a few minutes to reach a more manageable temperature. I speak from experience people, I suffer for you so that I can share my wisdom.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!
Acorn Squash Lasagna
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 whole acorn squash
4 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
15oz. fat free ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4-5 sage leaves minced
salt and pepper to taste
nonstick cooking spray
Prepare the acorn squash by cutting each in half and rubbing each half with 1 teaspoon oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in preheated oven to 400 degrees for one hour or until the squash is tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Zip squash in a blender or food processor and season with nutmeg. Squash should be smooth.
Parboil lasagna, boil for 5-8 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the cheese mixture. Combine parmesan, ricotta, and sage together.
Spray 8 by 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Begin assembling the lasagna start with squash layer then noodle layer then cheese. Repeat twice and end with cheese. Feel free to top with additional parmesan this will help brown up the top.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes with foil. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.