I cannot believe that it’s October, already! Fall has arrived full force here in the Pacific Northwest. I swear, the first official day of Fall it was suddenly 50 degrees and blustery outside… when it had been a record breaking 90 like 2 weeks prior. The weather here makes no sense. But, I really couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the sweater season. As much as I love Summer, Fall has cozy blankets, warm fireplaces, football, and my two very favorite things: pumpkin and chai. (There certainly is no shortage of pumpkin on my blog, but the dismal chai tag does not begin to convey my love for it. Mayhaps I shall begin to rectify that this year?)
What better way to kick off Fall recipes than with a pumpkin-y dish? Okay, it’s actually butternut squash, but in a lot of the world, aside from the U.S., butternut squash is regarded as a pumpkin. Plus, it’s equally delicious.
This is a pretty incredible recipe. Unlike traditional lasagna, marinara is replaced with a creamy Gruyere béchamel that is sprinkled with nutty, toasted pecans. Sounds decadent, right? And yet, this recipe is actually from Cooking Light! Yes, that’s right, it’s healthy!
Now, I happen to LOVE kale, but if you do not, don’t be put off by it’s inclusion in this recipe. It gets all tender and delicious, and it’s earthiness balances perfectly with the sweet butternut squash.
So, let’s recap: tastes indulgent, perfect Fall flavors, secretly healthy, and relatively simple to make. Make this today.
2-12 ounce packages pre-chopped butternut squash (frozen or fresh)
6 cups pre-chopped kale
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2.2 ounces (~1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups 2% milk, divided
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded, divided
2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp chopped pecans
Preheat ove to 450 degrees.
In a large glass bowl, combine the water and the squash. Cover with plastic wrap and pierce the plastic a few times. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until tender; drain. Add in the kale. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour and 1 cup of the milk until smooth.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add in the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant and starting to brown. Whisk in the flour mixture and then the remaining milk. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook for a couple minutes until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Gruyere, all of the Parmigiano Reggiano, and the nutmeg. Stir until melted, then season with salt and pepper.
Coat a large deep baking dish (mine was around 11″ x 7″) with cooking spray. Spread 2/3 cup of the béchamel on the bottom of the dish. Add 4 lasagna noodles to the bottom of the pan and top with half of the squash mixture and 1 1/3 cups of the béchamel. Repeat this layer, and then top with the remaining noodles and sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle the top with the remaining Gruyere, and the pecans. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 5 minuted before serving.