February 07, 2010

Squasagna ... or the perfect squash lasagna

My friend SVM has inspired me with this dish. I have borrowed her *squasagna* recipe and have modified it to fit my cooking style and eating / taste buds habits. I am a firm believer that recipes should be regarded as guidelines only, and not as strict rules, and often times I have hard time sticking to a recipe (hence my dislike for baking...). So without further ado, let me present you with my interpretation of Squash Lasagna:

0. I used no-boil lasagna noodles. They work just fine and shorten your cooking time by at least 30% (guesstimate).

1. Squash filling:
  • 3 butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • spices: thyme, sage, chives, basil
  • seasonings: salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cube of vegetable bouillon (dissolved in 1 cup water)
What to do:
Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 10 min, or until soft and translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste and add some thyme, chives, and sage. Then transfer to a bowl and set aside. In the same pan that you cook the onions, add the cubed squash and 1 cup of vegetable bouillon and cook on high heat until the squash is soft to the point that you can mash it with a fork (~15 min). Add salt, black and cayenne pepper, sage, thyme, chives and basil (don't be afraid to add a lot of spices... :) Once the squash is ready, remove from heat and mash it with a fork and mix it with the onions. It is a good idea to taste the mixture and make sure it is adequately seasoned.

2. Cheese mix:
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded (save ~1/2 cup aside to use as final topping of the noodles)
  • 1/4 lb pecorino romano cheese, shredded
  • sage, thyme, chives, basil
  • salt, black pepper to taste
Mix the cheeses and spices together in a large bowl. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Bechamel sause:
  • 2 table spoons butter
  • 2 table spoons flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and black pepper to taste.
In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. Then add the flour and whisk quickly so no chunks remain. Then, while constantly stirring, slowly pour the milk and the water. Add salt and pepper and bring to a gentle boil in ~ 10 min.

Assembling the lasagna:

1. At the bottom of your baking pan, pour 1/2 of the Bechamel sause and then put the first layer of noodles.

2. Then layer the noodles with the squash filling and the cheese mix:
  • noodles
  • squash filling
  • noodles
  • cheese mix
  • noodles
  • squash filling
  • noodles etc..

3. Cover the top layer of noodles with shredded mozzarella and pour the rest of the Bechamel sauce over the lasagna.

4. Bake at 375F for 40 min and enjoy!


  1. That is some serious cooking, Slaninka!!!!
    Love the recipe, I bet it tastes great, too :)

  2. Lokuma, it is really easy to make and you can modify the recipe a lot without sacrificing the flavor. The first time i made this dish, i used twice the amount of cheese and half the squash and it was very tasty, but pretty heavy for my stomach. This time, i reversed the amount of cheese and squash and used more squash (twice than before) and less cheese, and it tasted even better and did not upset my stomach!

  3. Furry Slaninka, is this the same lasagna that you were decribing to me? Do you think it would be good with another type of cheese?

  4. Marulka, yep it is the one i told you couple of weeks ago, but improved :)
    I am sure you can use other types of cheese. Ricotta is pretty standard but there are recipes with parmesan etc... as long as you like how squash tastes with your choice of cheese i don't see why you would not use it!

  5. This will not work with other types of cheese. You have to use ricotta and mozzarella. Maybe a just a little bit of some salty cheese such as parmesan, but that's it. If you don't use ricotta it will taste like shit.

  6. Mr. Muhlev, I was thinking of deplying the Mexican cotija cheese that I bought from Costco - I shredded it and it looks just like ricotta? Any thoughts, Muhlio? :)

  7. I have never had that cheese so can't really comment