I’m Italian…so it’s basically inviting excommunication when I give up pasta. But other than having macaroni and cheese a handful of times, I haven’t had pasta in over a year. I thought I would miss it; however, I find the biggest thing I miss while adhering to a primal diet is good French pastry and toasted bagels slathered in cream cheese. Okay, I still eat cream cheese (and occasionally I still eat bagels and pastry), but cream cheese slathered on a carrot or something just isn’t the same. I’ve seen lots of recipes for lasagna using zucchini (too wet) or eggplant (too…yuck…I don’t like eggplant). Recently I saw a recipe for lasagna using butternut squash. Thought it is a b*%^h to cut…yes, even with a mandolin…it definitely produced a fantastic alternative for lasagna noodles.
I used the filling recipe that I used to use with pasta (after years of perfecting the filling, I finally got to make it again!) and paired it with the cooking times for the butternut squash. JR tells me that I need to make this recipe a lot. Who knows…maybe it’ll become a regular on our weekly line-up!
Butternut Squash Lasagna (Primal)
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 C tomato sauce
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C roasted red peppers
2 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp oregano
3/4 C ricotta
salt and pepper
1 large, long butternut squash
1 C shredded mozzarella
1.- Preheat oven to 400. In saute pan, cook Italian sausage and crumble. Add onion and garlic partway through and cook until onions are getting soft and sausage is browned. Remove from pan, drain slightly, and put in large bowl.
2.- Slice off ends of butternut squash. Cut bulbous end and top end off squash to leave the long neck. Peel squash. Use mandolin to slice thin slices (between 1/8 and 1/4″) and set aside.
3.- In blender, put sauce, oil, roasted red peppers, basil, and oregano. Puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.- In bowl with sausage mixture, add ricotta and stir well. Add a small amount of salt and pepper and set aside.
5.- In 8×10 baking dish, spoon enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Layer squash, then sausage, then sauce. Repeat. Bake 1 hour. After 40 minutes, add mozzarella on top and put back in oven for the remaining 20 minutes. Let set 30 minutes before cutting and serving.