Saturday, March 26, 2011

butternut squash lasagna with a mushroom bolognese

Alas, I must sadly say, an animal was harmed in the making of this vegetarian meal.  Irony of ironies.

As you can tell from the fact the plate is framed by a lovely backdrop of grass, I took the plate outside for the photo.  People keep going on about photoing your food with "natural light" and how it's "so much better."  Well, apparently spiders also think that butternut squash lasagna casserole thingy smells pretty tasty, because one hopped right on... and got swept into the current of juices.  RIP, spider.

I was nonplussed by the photos.  His death was for naught.  Sad, as I'm sure he would have trapped mosquitoes with his webs had he not died.

Anyway, on to this wonderful, wonderful food.

I was instantly enamored of Health-Bent's lasagna that featured butternut squash slices in lieu of lasagna noodles.  The sweet creaminess of the butternut squash paired in my head perfectly with the acidity, saltiness and umami of a good bolognese.  Fortuitously, I also had a stockpile of mushroom bolognese sauce in my freezer.  Luck? Providence? Either way, I was excited to make this and felt it was bonus points that half of the prep was already finished.

I did try to make this in the crockpot, but that might not go down as my best decision if what you want is a firm casserole.  The top layer was a casserole and the bottom layer was soup, but they were both really, really tasty. Even I who am known for making an awesome dish once and then checking it off my list will make it again! I might try it in a traditional casserole dish, though, and go for that traditional casserole look.

If you want to make it crockpot-style...

Ingredients (for a 6-quart crockpot; adjust as needed)
1 scant quart of sauce if it's chunky, half if it's more liquid
1.5 butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1/2" slices
2 c pizza cheese, shredded (I used a cheapo package and was just happy with that)

1) Grease the pot.
2) Layer all ingredients, starting with butternut squash and ending with cheese.
3) Set on low and cook 6 hours or while you sleep, like we did. 

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