Winter Squash Lasagne with sage, walnuts, and black kale

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by: Chi Town Kitchen






Lasagne is seldom fast to put together, but it's always just right for a weekend supper with friends and family. I adore winter squash, so when I wanted to use it in a lasagne, I started playing with it, adding walnuts for their texture and taste and Gruyere cheese for the way it echoes the nuts. I keep the layering simple but serve each square on a bed of garlicky black kale, or other variety of kale. Serve this big handsome dish with an Old Vine Sonoma Zinfandel such as Ridge’s Lytton Springs or a Chianti Classico. Fonterutoli would be a good choice.




ingredients

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serves: 6

3 1/2 cups milk

1 large butternut squash (3 pounds or a little less)

4 cloves plump garlic

20 leaves (or so) sage (or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried )

1/2 cup packed parsley leaves

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion (cut into 1/2-inch squares)

1 cup lightly toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (finely chopped)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

3 1/2 tablespoons butter

3 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 package (8 ounce) no-boil lasagne noodles

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 bunches of black kale, washed

pinch of hot red pepper flakes

aromatics:

1 clove garlic

1 slice onion

1 leaf bay

1 sprig parsley

Nutrition Facts
Winter Squash Lasagne with sage, walnuts, and black kale

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount per Serving

Calories: 823

  • Total Fat: 47.8 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 17.5 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 108.5 mg
  • Sodium: 429.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 75.9 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 9.3 g
  •     Sugars: 14.2 g
  • Protein: 30.5 g
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preparation

1.  Butter or oil a 9- by 12-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small pot, slowly heat the milk with the aromatics. When it’s nearly boiling, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let it stand.

2.  Peel the squash and chop it into a rough dice about 1/2-inch across or less. Chop 2 of the garlic cloves with the sage and parsley. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wide skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and squash and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the squash is fairly tender and caramelized in places, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic-herb mixture and the nuts. Cook for a few minutes longer, then turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Reheat the milk and pour it through a strainer into the roux, whisking briskly. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the Hour is cooked, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the baking dish and lay 3 noodles over it. Cover with half the squash mixture, 1 cup of the sauce, half the Gruyere, and a third of the Parmesan. Repeat, then add the third layer of noodles. Spread the remaining sauce over them, top with the remaining Parmesan and tent with foil. (At this point the lasagne can be held in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it.) Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until bubbly and golden, 20 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let rest while you cook the kale. (Lasagne, once well wrapped, can be frozen for up to a month. Before baking at 375°F, allow it to return to room temperature.)

5.  Strip the kale leaves from their ropy stems and cut them into 1/2-inch strips. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet, add the rest of the garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, and cook long enough for it to perfume the oil and turn pale gold. Add the pepper flakes and the kale. Season with a few pinches of salt, toss in the pan to coat with the oil, then add 2 cups water. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook until the leaves are tender, 12 to 20 minutes, depending on their toughness. Don’t undercook it. Taste for salt.

6.  To serve, divide the kale among 6 plates and top each with a square of the lasagne.

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