I love the vegetables that are harvested in the fall. Butternut squash is one of my most favorite foods and let’s be honest, it tastes the best in the fall. I have tried the frozen and the early summer squash and it’s not the same. Adding layers of butternut squash to a lasagna is amazing! Adding layers of any vegetable to a lasagna can be amazing, especially roasted vegetables.
The squash adds a nice texture and flavor. It is slightly sweet and goes well with the Italian sausage.
1 box of Barilla oven ready lasagna (No boiling required)
1 pound of Italian sausage
1 medium sized butternut squash
1 pound of shredded mozzarella cheese or more if you prefer
½ pound of shredded Parmesan cheese or more if you prefer
Classic red sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 Garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, diced
¾ cup of dry red wine
3 large cans of Cento tomato puree
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 large handful of chopped, fresh basil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the whole butternut squash on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. While the squash is baking, cook the Italian sausage. Drain and set aside. Start the red sauce.
In a large, clean skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. Let it heat up and the add the garlic and shallot. Saute for about 1-2 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the red wine and let simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, cooked ground sausage and red pepper flakes. Stir and cover with a splatter screen. Cook over slightly less than medium heat for about 25-30 minutes.
Stir occasionally and add fresh basil at the end. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the squash is done, carefully remove it from the oven and slice it in half, remove the seeds and gut.
Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler and then slice into ½ inch slices. Be careful, it will be hot but much easier to peel and slice now.
Assemble the lasagna in a 9 x 13 baking dish. I use a ceramic baking dish and I do not grease the sides of it. If you are using metal, grease the pan first.
The assembly will go like this : Spread 1.5 cups of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
Add a layer of noodles, add a layer of sauce. Add a layer of cheese, add a layer of squash. Add a layer of noodles, add a layer of sauce. Repeat this until the baking dish is full. The final layer should be noodles, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.