Super Rich Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna
Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a lasagna, and when we talk about butternut squash and sausage lasagna… Well, what else can I say? It’s just great. My heart will always be partial to my mom’s classic ragù lasagna (you can find the recipe of the ragù here, soon enough we’ll come back with the entire recipe but at least you can practice) but I do have to admit that this butternut squash version stole my heart and it’s one of my favourite ways to cook butternut squash.
This one was even extra special because we made our own sausages and our own lasagna sheets (we’re such food nerds), also because we reeeally wanted to try out our new gadgets that we got for Christmas: our brand new meat grinder and pasta roller. For the sake of this recipe though I’m just going to give you the “easy” recipe. If you feel like exploring though, just know that I used 500gr worth of dough for lasagna for 8 to 10 people.
For this recipe we made pretty much everything from scratch, except the butternut squash. If you don’t feel confident enough to try and make your bechamel sauce though, you can buy some ready-made one, but for the love of God do not buy white sauce. You can find the proper one on Ocado or on websites that sell European/French goods such as Europa Box.
Finally, get ready to chop your butternut squash! Scroll to the end of the recipe to find our step-by-step guide and a handy video we recorded after endless attempts to properly cut butternut squash without cutting our own hands with it.
Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna
- Kitchen Robot or Blender
For the Bechamel Sauce
- 50 gr butter
- 50 gr flour
- 500 ml milk
- pinch of nutmeg
For the Lasagna
- 1 butternut squash
- 800 gr Italian sausage
- 1/2 glass dry white wine
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 1 clove garlic
- 350 gr lasagna sheets (might need more depending on the size of your tray)
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- black pepper
- Start by chopping the butternut squash in small cubes. Line a tray and add 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Put in a preheated fan oven at 200°C / 390°F for 30 minutes.
For the Bechamel Suace
- Start by heating up the milk, but without ever getting it to a boil.
- Melt the butter on very low heat (the lowest you can get on your hob) and once it's completely melted, add the flour a third at the time and mix well until completely absorbed.
- Once you have a sort of lumpy mix and the colour turns golden-brownish (approx. 2 minutes), start adding the hot milk a splash at the time. Keep mixing all the way to avoid lumps. Repeat the process until you used all the milk or until you're satisfied with the texture of your bechamel sauce.
- Add a pinch of nutmeg and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes before turning it off. Cover with cling film and let it cool off.
Back to the Lasagna
- Add a splash of olive oil to a pan on a medium heat and add a clove of garlic (whole) and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the Italian sausage and break it apart to let it cook through. After 5 minutes, add the rosemary and when deglaze with the white wine. Let it cook for another 3 minutes and let it sit until used.
- Once the squash is ready, take it out of the oven and put it in the blender or kitchen robot with half of the bechamel sauce. You should have a smooth sauce. Taste to check if it needs adjusting with salt.
- It's time to assemble! Start by adding a layer of bechamel sauce to the bottom of the tray and add the first layer of lasagna sheets. Add the butternut squash/bechamel mix and a bit of the bechamel sauce and then the sausage, then add another layer of sheets. Repeat until you get to the top and/or run out of ingredients.
- When you get to the last layer, only add the butternut squash and bechamel sauce and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Put in the fan oven at 180°C / 355°F for 20 minutes and then at 200°C / 390°F for the last 5 minutes.
How to chop a butternut squash
This is probably the only bit that takes a bit longer other than cooking: chopping the butternut squash for your lasagna without cutting your fingers off. No one wants a bloody lasagna. We have made a video for you but you can also find a breakdown of the steps to help you save some time:
- Cut the ends off
- Cut at the base of the squash, dividing the bulb from the neck
- Peel the two different sections; life will be easier if you use a Y-peeler, but if using a knife keep your palm on top of the squash
- Cut the bulbous bit in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon
- Slice up the bulbous halves in wedges; then cube them; they should be mostly uniform
- For the neck-bit, shave off the sides to square it then cut them into cubes
Is this butternut squash and sausage lasagna traditional or authentic?
So this is the most popular question for any Italian dish that is not “famous” worldwide. We also discussed the question of authenticity in food lots of times, as it’s one of our favourite topics (other than knives).
So, is this butternut squash and sausage lasagna authentic or not? Short answer: it depends. Long answer: while lasagna in the popular imagination is a ragù lasagna, we are now more accustomed to lasagna as being the equivalent of something in between lasagna sheets. So if we refer to the original version, probably not. However, butternut squash and sausage have been a popular pairing for quite a while now, and it’s been common to use these two ingredients in lasagna recipes around Italy. It makes an excellent comforting, autumn/winter meal if you want to have something different.
Bottom line is, I probably ended up making this butternut squash and sausage lasagna more often than I do the classic one, and the main reason for this is that I need to use the butternut squash I end up having around the house.