[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Squash Lasagna
3 February 2020

The last few months are the time of year where our veg box often contains squash, typically butternut, so I am always trying to think of interesting ways to prepare it. We have the usual suspects, of course - curries, soups, and the like - but I keep an eye out for inspiration for something new. In this case, a menu in a window had squash ravioli with some kind of sauce, I want to say sage butter for some reason.

That sounded pretty good, but making ravioli is so fiddly. You have to make the pasta, make the filling, cut the pasta, fill the pasta, seal the pasta, and do those last bits over and over. You know what is a lot less fiddly? Lasagna! From there, the recipe just fell into place. Squash tends to the sweet, so I wanted something savoury to balance it out. A tomato sauce would work, of course, but a strong garlic béchamel sounded even better.

I've made it again since the initial run, using sweet potato rather than squash - sweet potato being another common component in the box these days. Slightly different taste and texture, of course, but still good.

[Squash Lasagna] [Squash Lasagna]
Squash Lasagna

Roast the squash (or sweet potato). It will be hard to over-cook them, but don't take it as a challenge. Forty-five minutes or so at 165C should do the trick. You want them soft, since they will be mashed. Test them with the knife, and if the knife doesn't slide easily in to the centre, give them another ten minutes, then test again.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to your personal predilections. Or the directions on the pack, that works, too. Drain most of the water, but not all! You may need it for other purposes momentarily.

Mash the squash (or whatever) with the rosemary leaves and a little salt. If more liquid is needed, use some pasta water. Mix in the egg. It's not really needed, but it will help the mash hold together when you cut the lasagna.

Slice the onion.

Heat the olive oil to a medium-high temperature. Mince the garlic, or run it through a food processor. Chuck it into the pan with the oil, and let it brown. Add some salt. This is carrying most of the savory, so it will need a reasonable amount, a teaspoon perhaps, but use your judgement. Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and salt, and stir together, cooking until the flour browns a little. Not much though, this is a white sauce. Add the cream and stir well. It should thicken up a lot. Turn the heat down to medium low, and add pasta water bit by bit to thin it out to a thick but pourable texture. Taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Assemble! I layer it thusly: noodles, mash, onions, béchamel, noodles, mash, onions, béchamel, noodles, béchamel. The whole thing goes back in the oven at 165C for another twenty minutes.

© 2020 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite