I had this wonderful idea while brainstorming ways to use up some of the pesto I have been stockpiling – Maybe I’ll make a pesto lasagna… and instead of ricotta… maybe… I’ll use butternut squash!
The crazy part is that it worked… Superbly! The sweetness of the butternut complements the boldness of the basil while also taming the garlicky bite of the pesto. The squash also gives the lasagna a velvety creaminess so that the traditional layer of ricotta is not missed.
Pesto & Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
- 3/4 cup Pesto
- 1 box of Lasagna Noodles
- 8 oz Black Pepper Crusted Bacon (optional – leave the bacon off for a vegetarian version of the lasagna)
- 12 oz grated Mozzarella Cheese
- Black Pepper
Prepare the butternut squash puree. Peel the squash and chop off both ends. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Dice the squash’s flesh, and place the diced squash in a pot of boiling water. Cook the squash (10-20 minutes) until you can smoothly poke a fork through the squash. Strain the squash in a colander to remove the water. Place the squash in a blender, and puree the squash until smooth. On the stovetop, in a sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Add the squash puree to the sauce pan along with 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Season the puree with salt and pepper, and let it cook down for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove squash puree from heat, and let it cool.
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the box.
Dice the bacon up into bite sized cubes, and cook it up in a frying pan. Remove the bacon from the pan, and set it aside on a paper towel to drain off some of the fat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Assemble the Lasagna one layer at the time in a well greased baking dish:
- Spread 1/3 of the butternut squash puree directly onto the bottom of the baking dish.
- Sprinkle 1/4 of the bacon on top of the squash.
- Cover the squash and bacon with one layer of noodles.
- Spread 1/4 cup of pesto over the noodles.
- Sprinkle 4 oz of grated mozzarella cheese across the pesto.
- Cover the pesto with one layer of noodles
Repeat the sequence two more times, and on the final run through forgo the last layer of noodles so that the pesto and cheese layer is visible from the top. Sprinkle the final 1/4 of bacon on the top.
Bake for 45 minutes.