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Butternut Squash and Basil Bechamel Lasagna

13 Jul

I’m not a huge lasagna fan mostly because I don’t like red sauce so I decided to try this vegetarian version. Also, I’m a huge fan of butternut squash so it was perfect! 😉

Butternut Squash and Basil Bechamel Lasagna

adapted from Batter Licker

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (1½ to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 c. 2% milk
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 c. fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
8 oz. (approximately 12) no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. grated Parmesan

Directions:
1)Preheat oven to 400F
2)Toss cubed squash with oil, 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper, and pour onto baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender, approximately 25 minutes.


3)Remove from oven


4)Transfer squash to food processor, and blend until smooth, adding another 1/2 c. water to help the blending process. Season roasted butternut squash puree to taste with additional salt and pepper, and set aside.
5)In medium pan over medium heat, melt butter. Meanwhile, heat milk in microwave (about 1 minute) or saucepan until hot. Once butter has melted, add flour, and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, whisking often, until bechamel sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in nutmeg.


6)Transfer half of the sauce to a food processor (if using blender, allow to cool before blending). Add basil, and blend until smooth. Return basil sauce to remaining bechamel sauce in pan, and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7)Preheat oven to 375F, and place rack in center of oven.
8)Lightly butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Spread 3/4 c. basil bechamel sauce over bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Spread 1/4 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. mozzarella. Drizzle 1/2 c. basil bechamel over the mozzarella.
9)Repeat layering 3 more times.

10)Cover baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 40 minutes.
11)Remove foil cover, and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over top of lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until sauce bubbles and cheesy top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool before serving.

Bon Appétit!

Mac-N-Cheese

23 May

I am a huge mac and cheese fan. Growing up in an asian household, we didn’t eat much of it. So for our (my friends and my) weekly international dinner, I decided to make it. I was a little disappointed because it is not the cheesiest or creamiest mac and cheeses I have ever had, but it was still good. Maybe try adding some more cream and cheese when you try it. I think it would make a huge difference.

Mac&Cheese

Adapted from Recipes We Enjoy
Ingredients:
1.5 lbs elbow macaroni
1 pint heavy cream
2 cups milk (we use skim milk)
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1.5 cups parmesan/ romano
1 small package of gruyere cheese (you can shred it or cut into small pieces)
Bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Cook elbow macaroni until it is al dente
2) In a mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream, milk, salt & pepper
3) Spray a 9×13 baking dish with Pam and then spread a thin layer of bread crumbs on the bottom of the pan
4) On top of the bread crumbs place a layer of the cooked elbow macaroni (should be half of the pasta you cooked)
5) Cover the top of the macaroni with all of the different cheese and then pour half of the cream/ milk mixture over the cheese and pasta
6) Put another layer of pasta (use the remaining half of cooked pasta)
7) Put the remaining cheese on top of the macaroni and pour in the remaining cream/ milk mixture over the top
8) Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and bake in the oven at 475 degrees for 50 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the top of the cheese is browning

Bon Appétit!