Seattle got off pretty easy this last week. Even though our temperatures dropped to the mid-teens three nights straight, we didn’t see a flake of snow. It makes for an easy commute but a cool tease for those praying for some snow play. Since the weather couldn’t deliver, we thought a white sauce lasagna would be our version of a wintery treat. Combine that with butternut squash, sausage, and sage and our snow baby was born!
1 package fresh lasagna noodles
1 small butternut squash, cut into thin slices
1 lb. crimini or button mushrooms, thick slices
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package spicy Italian sausage
10 large sage leaves
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh parmesan, grated
3 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Splash of white wine
Drizzle olive oil onto the butternut squash slices and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast in a 400˚ oven for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Remove the sausage from its casing, if necessary, and sauté in a skillet until browned. Meanwhile in another pan sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes until softened. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until they have released their liquid. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and set aside.
Lay your sage leaves on a paper towel and dry for about 15 minutes. Now it’s time for the bechamel. Melt a 1/4 cup of butter over medium-high heat and add the sage leaves. Cook 3-4 minutes until the leaves begin to get crispy and set aside. To the butter, add the flour and make a roux. Once your flour has cooked for a couple of minutes, begin adding the milk, one cup at a time. Stir vigorously to ensure that the flour and butter mixture combine evenly with the milk. When the sauce has thickened, add a 1/4 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg and a 1/4 tsp. salt. In a quart size pot, boil the lasagna noodles until tender.
It’s building time! Butter a rectangular dish and layer in a lasagna noodle (we had to cut our noodles in half to fit). Next is the bechamel sauce. Cover with the butternut squash, crumbled sausage and mushroom/onion mixture. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and a few of the crispy sage leaves.
Repeat for two more layers and cover with one final layer of noodles, sauce and cheese. Finally, grate on a bit of fresh parmesan. Add a few more olive oil-brushed sage leaves to the top and bake in a 350˚ oven for 30 minutes. For a golden finish, broil until brown on top.