Wintertime Lasagna

February 7, 2011

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News

So it’s winter, and you still have these lasagna noodles staring you in the face every time you open the cupboard, but how the heck are you gonna use them up and make something seasonal? You want the shelf space back, but you don’t want to go buy a bunch of imported tomatoes & basil from goodness-knows-where. You could probably just toss em in the compost cardboard box & all, or donate them to a worthy cause. ORRRRRRRRRRRR experiment & make up this delicious wintertime lasagna!!!

First get a butternut squash and peel it – whoa, I know it sounds crazy but a regular veggie peeler should work if it’s reasonably sharp. Cut the squash in half & scoop out the innards (separate the seeds & roast em! my boyfriend did this in the toaster oven – super easy & fast, & sounds like popcorn popping! he added chili powder – delish.) Then chop the squash halves into little cubes, maybe 1/2″ throw em in a pan with a little olive oil & roast on 425 for a few minutes, stirring every so often. I threw a whole bulb of garlic in the top of the pan too, bc roasted garlic is one of the best things ever, so any time I have the oven above 400 I throw in some garlic to get it roasty & delicious.
Meanwhile, I should let you know we just hit the jackpot on dumpstering cream cheese. Seriously we have an entire shelf full (Safeway’s power went out during a recent snowstorm so their fridges were out)… So you could use some normal type of cheese like ricotta, but we used a tub of cream cheese and it worked great. I started heating up a little milk in a saucepan and added the tub of cream cheese, stirring until it was melty & gooey.

Also – the amazing folks at the Washington Youth Garden just hooked us up with an ENORMOUS amount of rosemary to use as center pieces at our waltz party. The rosemary was beautiful & delightfully fragrant in bouquets arranged in mason jars!! But now we have literally a bush of rosemary drying in a homemade “herb dryer” (aka a window screen taken out of its frame, and hanging with twisty-ties from a hook)..

So I chopped & threw probably about a 1/4 cup of fresh rosemary in with the tub of cream cheese and milk in the sauce pan. Pretty much there’s no reason to use that much rosemary unless you have some extenuating circumstances. Anyway – it worked out delicious.

Once the squash is done roasting, I peeled & mushed about a quarter of the bulb of garlic & mixed it in a big bowl with the squash and melted cheesey mixture. Meanwhile I grabbed a block of frozen spinach & defrosted & drained it as a wave of inspiration struck.
Layer the noodles in the pan with squash/cheese mixture, then spinach layer, then the rest of the squash/cheese goo. Sprinkle the top with mozarella & parmesan, and garnish with (you guessed it) rosemary!!

Cover with tin foil & cook at 350 for 30 minutes, then uncover and cook 10 more minutes. Then enjoy!!!! The only complaint I got was that it looks so much like peaches and cream, but then it isn’t dessert. Once your eaters know it’s a squash lasagna, I bet you won’t have anyone disappointed!

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