This is a dish that I love for a few reasons. First of all, although there are quite a few steps, it’s a pretty easy dish to make. Secondly, it gave me a new use for butternut squash, which is currently in season so I can buy it at the farmer’s market. And finally, it’s vegetarian, so everyone can eat it. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash and Polenta Lasagna
1 small to medium butternut squash
1 roll of premade polenta
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 small container ricotta
1 can diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 Tsp Onion powder/garlic powder
½ tsp dried basil or 1 Tbl fresh basil chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup whole milk
1 Tlb butter
1 Tbl flour
Warm oven to 350. Split butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet, and place squash cut side down. Bake for 25 minutes or until barely soft. Cool squash and then cut into ¼ inch slices. In a small sauce pan, heat 1 Tbl olive oil. Mince garlic and add to oil. Saute for a few seconds and then add the canned tomatoes. Add basil, salt, pepper and onion or garlic powder (or both!) to taste. Simmer for a few minutes.
While tomatoes are simmering, melt butter in a separate medium sauce pan. Add flour and create a roux. Add milk and cook until you have a nice medium-thick sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk and heat through. This is your béchamel sauce.
Drizzle the bottom of a 9×13 inch glass baking dish, or a large ceramic tart pan, with olive oil. Slice polenta into ¼ inch thick slices. Use these to line the pan. Cover polenta with around ¼ cup of parmesan cheese (or more if needed). Top polenta with tomato sauce, spreading to cover the entire dish.
Place ricotta in a bowl with the egg, ¼ cup parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Top the tomatoes with the ricotta mixture, spreading it evenly over the top. Cover the ricotta with the sliced butternut squash. Top with the béchamel sauce. Cover with grated mozzarella and any remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. If cheese on top gets too brown, cover with an oiled piece of tin foil (you oil it so it doesn’t stick to the cheese). Serve hot.