October 06, 2017
Dinner, Main Dish, Pork,
Pasta, Lasagna, Vegetables, Squash, New England, Cooking For A Crowd, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Oven Bake, Stove Top, Make it from scratch more
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"This is comfort food at it's best. It's a luxurious lasagna made of winter squash of choice, pancetta, etc. with a play on the traditional Bolognese. It’s rich, and warming and perfect for a cold day. It introduces a homemade Beschamel sauce that is spiked with herbs, etc. This will become a favorite Fall and Winter favorite."
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Using a sharp knife, slice the winter squash into as many ½-inch slabs as you can (size does not matter but thickness does).
Brush each slab with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, then arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Roast in the hot oven 20–25 minutes or until softened all the way through and caramelized around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the squash roasts, heat the milk until steaming in a heavy saucepan along with the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, a few leaves of sage and the peppercorns, being careful not to walk away from the stove (the milk will overflow if it comes to a boil and make a huge mess!).
Turn the heat to low and allow to steep until you are ready to make the sauce.
Heat an enameled Dutch oven to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the diced pancetta.
Sauté until crispy and the fat has been released, then remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter to the pancetta fat, stirring to melt. Strain the seasoned milk into a pitcher, then add the flour to the butter-fat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and lightly browned (the flour will seize up and then relax as you stir).
Switch to a whisk and slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking as you go, until you have a thick sauce.
Return the crisped pancetta to the pot, then taste for seasoning and add salt if needed and the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When you’re ready to assemble the lasagna, butter the inside of a 9- by 13-inch oven-safe/freezer-safe casserole dish and spread a thin layer of besciamella (Béchamel sauce) on the bottom.
Then, line the bottom of the dish with fresh pasta sheets, cut to fit and cover the entire space, then;
Add a layer of roasted squash strips followed by a few dollops of besciamella spread over the top and some scattered sage leaves.
Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, then repeat the process until all of the ingredients are used up, with besciamella as the top layer, sprinkled heavily with Parmigiano Reggiano, some cracked black pepper and any remaining sage leaves in a decorative pattern.
From here, you can either bake the dish straightaway in a preheated 350° oven for about 50–60 minutes, or until bubbly.
Or you can allow the dish to cool completely at room temperature, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil over the top (or a lid, if your container has one), and freeze for up to 3 months.
To serve, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the fridge, then bake in a 350° oven for 50–60 minutes or until bubbly. (If you want to bake it from the frozen state, add about an hour to the cooking time.)
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