This is a reimagined version of one of my favorite dishes: butternut squash ravioli with butter and sage. It is the ultimate comfort food for fall. Butter, sage and Parmesan make a magical combination. Thank you, Tuscany!
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Special kitchen equipment: one baking sheet, 1 oven-proof baking dish or lasagna pan, 1 large skillet or stew pot, potato masher or immersion blender
Technique tip: Be sure to cook the pasta at least 2 minutes under cooking directions on package so it is very al dente, since it will also be baked.
Swap option: This recipe also works with pumpkin or acorn squash. Feel free to use fat-free ricotta or low-fat/skim milk mozzarella or low-fat milk. It can also be made as a traditional lasagna.
- 1/4 cup kosher salt for pasta water
- 10 lasagna noodles
- non-stick cooking spray (or olive oil and a paper towel)
- 2 cups butternut squash, sliced or cubed (1 small/medium squash)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 7 fresh sage leaves, cut into strips (or 1 teaspoon dried sage) plus 1 sprig for decoration
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup ricotta, plus more, as needed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1/2 cup shaved or shredded Parmesan, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil; add salt.
3. Cook lasagna noodles for 2 minutes less than instructions on package; they should be pliable, but not too soft.
4. Drain the noodles and lay on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Cut stem off of the butternut squash and cut into thirds. Heat in microwave for 5-6 minutes. (This makes it much easier to peel and to remove the seeds.)
6. Rinse squash with with cold water and peel, remove seeds and cut into small cubes.
7. While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet or stew pot on medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Toss in the onions and sage, and allow to cook until onions are translucent, stirring often, about 6-7 minutes.
8. Add butternut squash, nutmeg, ricotta and milk. Cook until squash is soft and most of liquid is cooked off, about 8-10 minutes. Add additional ricotta, if needed, to thicken.
9. Add 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup of Parmesan and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until blended.
10. Mash with a potato masher or immersion blender until all lumps are gone. Allow to cool.
11. Spray an oven-safe casserole or lasagna pan with non-stick spray and put a layer of the ricotta-squash mixture on the bottom.
12. Make the roll ups: Put a layer of the ricotta-squash mixture (about 1/3 cup) on each noodle and roll carefully.
13. Put the rolls, seam-side down, in rows, into the pan, top with remaining ricotta-squash mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes.
14. Remove foil and add remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown.
15. Top with a sprig of fresh sage, and enjoy! Buon appetito!
Make Madeleine Smithberg’s butternut squash lasagna roll-ups