Tuesday, March 28, 2006

winter squash and spinach lasagna

I lifted this recipe from Robina's food blog (http://b-eats.livejournal.com/), but modified it a bit:

2 6 oz bags of baby spinach
2 tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2.5 tbs buttery spread (such as earth balance or soy garden, or umm... butter)
3 tbs. whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water
~ 24 oz winter squash (see note)
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 container of lowfat ricotta cheese
1.5 tsp. dried basil
1.5 tsp. salt, or to taste
2/3 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
1 egg
6-8 oz. part-skim mozarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 handful toasted almonds
box no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles

NOTE: i got two boxes of 'winter harvest' from trader joes. basically, it's a bunch of butternut squash, sweet potatoes and other things cut into cubes. to use in the recipe, i cut about 1.5 boxes worth of the veggies into thin slices.

1. preheat oven to 350F.
grease a lasagna pan

2. melt 2 1/2 tbs. butter in a medium saucepan, over low heat.
when it is melted completely, stir or whisk in the 3tbs. of whole wheat flour until it is thick and smooth.
whisk in 1/2 cup water gradually, until creamy.
add squash.
cover and let this cook completely.
take care to check it and stir often.

3. while the squash is cooking, heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
add minced garlic and fry up til softened and fragrant.
add spinach and a pinch of salt.
cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until spinach is tender. remove from heat.

4. mix ricotta, dried basil, 1/3 cup of the pecorino romano, egg, 1 tsp. salt, and spinach in a bowl.

5. when the squash is done cooking, stir in 1/2 tsp of the nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. salt.

6. layering!
a. spread 1/4 of the squash in the pan.
b. then layer lasagna noodles
c. another 1/4 of the squash
d. 1/2 of the ricotta mixture
e. 1/3 of the mozarella.
repeat this again
on top of the last layer of the lasagna noodles add the rest of the squash, mozarella and pecorino romano.

7. topping!
mix brown sugar with 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg in a small measuring cup.
top the lasagna with 1 (or 2 - i have big hands!) handfuls of sliced almonds, crushing them a bit in your hand as you
spread them, and the spice/sugar mixture.

8. cook!
cover the lasagna with aluminum foil for 40 minutes.
uncover lasagna and cook for another 20 minutes.

this smelled so good coming out of the oven! if it wasn't close to 1 am i would have cut myself a giant slice.

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