Saturday, February 2, 2013

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Shiitake Mushrooms

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.

To accomplish the installation, we needed to remove a cabinet, build a frame and add a small faux cabinet above.  The end result was a beautiful new refrigerator and with the removal of the cabinet, the kitchen began to appear larger and brighter.  When we purchased our house new eleven years ago, we opted for a Viking cook top with a built in BBQ.  Not until years later, did we realize the hood above was significantly underpowered.  Each time we would barbeque the house would fill with smoke and it became ultimately un-useable.  After doing some investigation, the builder has installed an under-powered motor with the hood.

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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.

The house came with hickory cabinets, which would not have been my first choice, but I have grown to accept them and actually like them now.  We added a mahogany kitchen island with granite top from Crate and Barrel to offset the light cabinets.  The final step in this mini-remodel was to update the bar stools, kitchen table and chairs all in dark mahogany leather for the bar stools and kitchen chairs.  The end result is an updated kitchen that I now LOVE and we did it for relatively low cost versus starting from scratch.

The overall dinner party was a success and it was very rewarding to eat in the newly remodeled space with good friends.  The main dish was this Butternut Squash Lasagna with Shiitake Mushrooms from FoodieCrush who adapted it from Giada DeLaurentis.  I changed it slightly and the overall outcome was pure delicious-ness!

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Shiitake Mushrooms

¼ C. Olive oil
2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup water
½ t. Almond extract
1 ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup butter + 1 T. Butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour + 1 T. flour
4 cups whole milk
4-5 good grates of fresh nutmeg
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles (use more if needed)
3 – 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

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.


  1. This lasagna looks and sounds spectacular. Can't wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing!

    Happy Valley Chow

  2. Mmmm....that lasagna looks perfect!

  3. Love this lasagna, Lisa! It's hard to go wrong with butternut squash and shiitake mushrooms are involved :). Happy Saturday!

  4. Oh dear, here we go again! I think I"m going to have to don my mouse costume and hang out in your kitchen (hidden away, of course, so I wouldn't scare any of your special guests) and hope that not everyone cleans their plates. Those plates will be sparkling clean when you return to the kitchen after the the guests have left! ...................... or you could just make me a little plate of my own and then I wouldn't have to feel like such a scavenger. :)

  5. What a nice and different lasagna. I was hoping for some photos of your kitchen but I guess you will show us later. I really love how you are always having dinner parties, I'm sure your friends and family love it.

  6. Fab recipe for lasagna. I'd love a slice too. :)

  7. Hmm.. Looks fantastic !
    I am really going to try this one at home :)

  8. Oh, how wonderful re: mini kitchen reno! My dream is to have the kind of appliances you have now - all high-powered! We live in a condo, so no go for stoves with built-in bbq! We don't even have a terrace to do bbq! We do, however, have a "common grill area" where the building shares the bbq facility. It's all good...easy clean-up, hehe! Congrats on the mini reno, and of course, your lasagna looks wo-wo-wonderful!!! Happy Super Bowl...

  9. I've been thinking of you a lot, Lisa, as we have been dealing with some portions of our kitchen renovation that we started years ago when we first moved into the house. The installment of our Wolf range made me realized how underpowered our hood is, and that is precisely next on my list of things to change. And I really really want to get new cabinets!

    Sigh, in time.

    This lasagna looks positively delicious, Lisa!!! I would devour a whole pan, I'm afraid!

  10. How great is this!!! Love everything about it! Have a great week, Lisa!

  11. Wonderful flavors, Lisa! I already decided that I am making this for an upcoming dinner party that I am hosting. Have a great week!

  12. Your kitchen sounds fabulous! And the lasagna sounds delicious. I love mushrooms, so I would like a big slice!

  13. Do not mention a hood that's not working. Out kitchen came without a hood and makes grilling everything a nightmare. Can't wait to re-do the kitchen later this year.
    Your lasagna sounds delicious Lisa. Love the veggies addition, a little different than the regular cheese-tomato one

  14. I think I need a more powerful motor and some of this yummy looking lasagna! We just finished our bathroom remodel, so kitchen refinements are going to have to wait, but it's so fun when you can enjoy the fruits of your labor :)

  15. I love getting a new 'anything' for my house and especially a new kitchen!!! Congrats on your mini remodel and on your lovely dinner party to celebrate -the lasagne looks good (much better than the diet food I have to eat after my big eating trip to NOLA ;-0 )

  16. I bet your kitchen looks wonderful, though it already looked great before. Sub Zero was a great choice--I didn't even consider another brand when I replaced my old one last year. :)

    Your butternut squash would be awesome with my current squash obsession. I was going to make ravioli but I think I'd make this instead. :)


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