A long time ago, I used to be allergic to tomatoes. Tragic, I know. And I remember watching Garfield as a kid and him mowing down trays upon trays upon trays of lasagna. I always wondered what that luscious layer of meat, pasta, and cheese would taste like. And then I wasn’t allergic anymore — hurrah!
Anyways, as we are heading head-first into winter, I think that it was definitely an appropriate time to throw this baby in the oven — my 6-layer butternut squash and kale vegetarian lasagna. Oh baby.
I mean, I could’ve just made a regular hearty and heavy meat lasagna, but there was this sad little butternut squash sitting in my kitchen that was doomed to be made into butternut squash soup. “But no”, I thought to myself, “I’ll whip you up into something even more spectacular”. Then I spotted Mr. Squash’s friend, kale, in my fridge and I knew I was going to make a marvelous pan of veg lasagna.
Now, I am no fan of using jarred sauces, in fact, they disgust me. But this time, I broke my own cardinal rule. I used Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce. It features all natural ingredients (which I love) and worked wonderfully with the butternut squash and kale. But honestly, feel free to use whatever pasta sauce you have on hand (homemade is the best!!!).
So let’s get down to the actual recipe. Lasagna can be intimidating. Why? Because it just seems like there are so many steps. Key word: seems. It’s actually not all that bad. In this recipe in particular, it takes 2 hours, prepping and cooking time included. But think about it – half of that time is cooking the lasagna. Look at it this way – while your squash is roasting, prepare the kale, prepare the ricotta, and get your pans ready. Once the squash is out and has slightly cooled, it’s just layering and that takes maybe 10 minutes. See? Not that hard, right? Give it a go and see what you think — you’ll be surprised.
6-layer butternut squash and kale vegetarian lasagna
What you’ll need:
– Olive oil, as needed
– 1 butternut squash, halved and pulp and seeds removed
– 1 pkg (375g) oven-ready lasagna
– 1 tbsp ghee, or vegetable oil
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– 4 large stalks kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
– Freshly ground black pepper
– Salt, to taste
– 1 container (454g) ricotta
– 1 jar (25.5oz) pasta sauce
What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Rub olive oil over squash halves and place on a lined baking sheet cut side up and bake for 45 minutes or until it can be pierced with a fork. Cool, scoop out into a bowl and set aside. Decrease the heat to 375F.
2. In the meantime, heat ghee or vegetable oil over medium-high in a medium saucepan until hot. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add kale, salt and pepper and cook until wilted. Cool and add ricotta and mix until incorporated.
3. In a 9×13 baking dish, spoon a good amount of sauce on the bottom. Layer uncooked lasagna noodles. Add some squash and mash until surface area is covered. Layer noodles, then add the ricotta-kale mixture and a few spoonfuls of sauce. Add more noodles, then more sauce. Noodles again, then squash and a few tablespons of sauce. Noodles again, then kale-ricotta with some sauce. Lastly, layer the last bit of noodles and cover with the rest of the sauce.
4. Bake at 375F for an hour or until noodles are cooked through.
5. Makes 9 individual pieces.