A couple weeks ago I hosted an intimate dinner party at my house for friends. At first I thought let’s go formal and sit in the dining room, then I changed my mind. Several weeks ago, our “mini kitchen make over” was complete and why not enjoy the fruits of our labor. The makeover began with the death of our refrigerator. The counter depth fridge was replaced with my absolute dream refrigerator – the sub-zero.
Next step in the remodel was to remove another cabinet and add a larger professional hood and a super powerful motor. Now barbequing doesn’t produce any smoke and hubby can’t even smell what I am cooking. That is one powerful engine. Smile.
Giada DeLaurentisI changed it slightly and the overall outcome was pure delicious-ness!
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Shiitake Mushrooms
¼ C. Olive oil
Preheat to 375 degrees F.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash, toss with oil, season with salt and pepper and then pour the water into the skillet. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender about 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the almond extract.
Heat another large skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more olive oil if needed. Season with salt. Remove from pan and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly about 5 minutes. Add in grated nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender and add the basil. Mixture will be hot so place a towel or cloth over top of blender so mixture doesn’t explode. Blend until smooth then return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly butter a 13 X 9 X 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles then 1/3 of the mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the ricotta cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times, ending with a layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Cover the baking dish with foil sprayed with Pam or other cooking spray and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for about 15 more minutes or until the top is golden. Remove from oven and let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.