Kitchen Creations

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Close your eyes, take a bite and say "Wow"!

This blog is about the dinner I made for tonight, Resurrection Sunday. I like to do things that are unexpected, out of the norm, sometimes.  Soooo.... no ham, no potatoes, no traditional foods.  I made a a lasagna with roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash. One word, A-MAZE-ING!  I literally closed my eyes while I chewed. It enhanced the experience by about tenfold!  It's creamy, bursting with flavor, with some texture to chew provided by the noodles and the oh-so-wonderful crusty cheese atop this wonderment.  Fair warning, this is NOT one of my healthier dishes, in fact I'd call it down right indulgent.  Its saving grace is the good amount of orange vegetables in it.  I cling tightly to that fact right there.  I clung to it though each and every delectable bite tonight.  This WILL become one of my all time, top comfort foods.  But, back to business.  The original recipe comes from the food blog "How Sweet It Is" and it called for a few things I didn't have, which absolutely forced me to improvise and make it more my own. I think I'll improvise even more next time, substituting fresh basil for the sage because fresh basil is one of my all time food best friends.  I love it and I think it would make this dish just one notch closer to perfect and in my taste it is very nearly there already!!! 

So, sometime soon, spend some time making this delightfully delicious dish and then sit down, close your eyes, take a bite and..... I bet you say "wow"!!!

Roasted Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Lasagna 
9 whole wheat lasagna noodle sheets
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups cubed)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces sour cream
4 ounces cottage cheese  - or in place of the cream cheese, sour cream & cottage cheese, you can use 12 ounces of mascarpone cheese but I didn' t have this, thus the improvised list of substitutes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tbsp. ground sage OR 15-20 fresh basil leaves!! (Original recipe calls for sage leaves, but I had ground sage from our sage plant from last year and used that instead.)
olive oil for drizzling

1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.)  Cook pasta noodles according to package directions or use "no boil" noodles.
2.)  Peel and cube butternut squash and sweet potatoes.  Place them on baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over the tops.  I used my handy dandy oil spritzer from Pampered Chef and it made this a snap.  Then sprinkle with the nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
I love these colors!

3.)  Bake the squash and sweet potatoes for a total of 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes to get a nice roasted look on all sides.
4.)  While the sweet potatoes and squash bake, slice the shallots and mince the garlic. 
5.)  Heat a medium skillet, add butter then shallots and garlic.  You want to brown the butter but not burn it.  Stir quickly every 30 seconds or so and let the  shallots and garlic saute in the butter for about 2-3 minutes.  Then remove from heat.
6.)  Stir together your sour cream, cream cheese and cottage cheese.  Add 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
This stuff smells and tastes incredible!!
7.)  Stir in the shallot, garlic, butter mixture until smooth.
That's some yummy goodness folks!
8.)  When potatoes are done, mash them either with a fork or mixer - depending on what texture you prefer, just mash them enough that they spread easily over the noodles.
9.)  Now it's time to layer.  Spray an 8X8 pan with oil.  Put down 1 layer of noodles.  Cover the noodles with 1/2 of the sweet potato/squash mixture and spread out evenly.  Top with 1/2 of the cheese mixture, 1/3 of Tb. of ground sage/sage leaves/basil leaves (which ever you choose) and then 1/2 of the mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.  Add another layer of noodles, the rest of the sweet potato/squash mixture, the rest of the cheese mixture, sage/basil, and another 1/3 of the mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.  Finally put on one last layer of noodles and then cover with the remaining 1/3 mozzarella and Parmesan. top with sage or basil.
Layers through the glass pan.

10.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
Before diving into it!


Click here for printable recipe

1 comment:

  1. I will have to try this one soon! Looks delicious!