Perfect Fall Recipe: Butternut Squash Lasagna

Every time I cook dinner, I seem to make a HUGE mess in the kitchen.  I end up using way too many pots and pans and the cleanup takes longer than it actually takes to cook the meal!  So I thought I was doing myself a favor when I purchased Emeril Lagasse’s cookbook, “Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders.”  With the book separated into sections like Skillets and Sauté Pans, Casseroles and Baking Dishes, Big Pots, Woks, and Slow Cookers, I thought I found my solution!  If I make everything in ONE pot, I cut down the mess….right?

Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders

I can’t speak for all of the recipes in the book, but the most recent one I tried for Butternut Squash Lasagna simply ends up in ONE Casserole dish.  I didn’t take into account all of the prep work and cooking leading up to the assembling of this lasagna.  In making this recipe, in addition to the casserole dish, I also ended up using one baking sheet, two sauté pans, and three mixing bowls.

Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe @FoodMarriage

Don’t get me wrong…this was an incredible recipe – I just wasn’t ready for the amount of work involved.  It’s not something I would recommend for a busy work night (I started making everything at 7pm and we didn’t actually sit down to eat until about 10:45pm!)  Save it for a weekend when you have time to prepare everything and can really enjoy the meal.

You will LOVE this lasagna!  We had so much leftover, that I shared it with my parents and sister the next day.  My sister texted me as she was eating and said “Every bite was an adventure on my tastebuds!”  With roasted butternut squash, chopped toasted hazelnuts, a variety of fresh herbs and even some apples mixed in….she was right – it was quite a tasty adventure!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Yield: 10 large pieces of lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup small-diced fennel
  • 1 cup cored and small-diced Pink Lady or Honeycrisp Apple
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian Sausage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 sticke) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven to 350°
  • ROASTING THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Peel, cut, scoop out the seeds, and dice the butternut squash into cubes. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the squash, extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Pour this mixture onto a large baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes in 350° oven. Remove from oven, set aside to cool, and throw away the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
  • MAKING THE MEAT MIXTURE: Remove the sausage from its casings and break apart. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil, fennel, apple, marjoram and broken up sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes until the sausage is browned and thoroughly cooked. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool (when doing this, use a slotted spoon to drain the grease).
  • COMBINE BUTTERNUT SQUASH & MEAT MIXTURE: Once both the butternut squash and meat mixture are cool, gently fold the squash into the meat mixture.
  • BUTTER, SAGE, & HAZELNUTS: Heat the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once it begins to bubble, add in 1/4 cup chopped sage leaves and cook for a minute. Add the chopped hazelnuts and cook for another minute. Set aside to cool.
  • CHEESE MIXTURE: In a large mixing bowl (I found it easiest to use an electric mixer for this portion), combine together the ricotta, mascarpone, heavy cream, beaten eggs, half of the mozzarella cheese (2 cups), and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • COMBINE BUTTER/SAGE/HAZELNUT MIXTURE & CHEESE MIXTURE: Add the cooled butter/sage/hazelnut mixture to the cheese mixture and stir.
  • Increase oven temperature to 375°
  • ASSEMBLE LASAGNA: Spread half of the butternut squash/meat mixture on the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, drizzle 1/4 cup of chicken broth over the top, and then cover with 4 sheets of pasta. Next, spread 3 cups of the cheese mixture over the pasta and cover with 4 more sheets of pasta. Add the remaining butternut squash/meat mixture on top of the pasta, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan again, drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth, and add last 4 sheets of pasta. Spread the remaining cheese mixture evenly over the top of the pasta and top it off with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and another 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
  • BAKE THE LASAGNA: Cover the lasagna pan with a piece of buttered foil. Bake in 375° oven, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sage on top.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Cookbook: "Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders."

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Recipe Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders.”  Some changes I made: I took out onions from the original recipe because my husband does not care for them; also could not find fennel sausage in the grocery store, so I used sweet Italian sausage.

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Sweet White Sangria Recipe

In addition to the cucumber water recipe I made for my Girls Fantasy Football Draft party, I also made a Sweet White Sangria!  I made up the recipe on my own by just mixing white wine with sprite and adding in some sliced fruit.  I used a light and refreshing wine called “Lighthouse White,” which I actually purchased when I was at the Cape May Winery for a bachelorette party.

White Sangria Recipe @FoodMarriage

I made a party-sized version of this sangria and used my 3-gallon drink dispenser!  I used a variety of fruits, including blueberries.  But I did learn the hard way that blueberries are not the best to add in if you are using a drink dispenser.  The blueberries tended to get caught in the spout, blocking the flow of the liquid when you tried to get your drink.  Another great tip I can share?  To keep your sangria cold and instead of using regular ice cubes in it which may dilute it too much, make soda ice cubes!  I froze sprite in ice cube trays and then added them into the sangria!

Sweet White Sangria Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Large party-sized container of Sangria

Sweet White Sangria Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 bottles white wine
  • 2 bottles (2 liters each) of sprite
  • Pint of Raspberries
  • 2 kiwi
  • 2 peaches
  • 8 strawberries

Instructions

  • Using your first bottle of soda, pour into ice cube trays and freeze (You can also use a few raspberries to freeze into the middle of the soda ice cubes to look pretty).
  • Put the second bottle of soda in the refrigerator to start chilling.
  • Pour your white wine into a large drink dispenser.
  • Slice your raspberries and strawberries in half and toss into the wine.
  • Peel and slice your kiwi and peaches and also add into the wine.
  • Place your drink dispenser into the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. (I actually recommend doing this the night before so the fruit flavors can blend together and really flavor the wine).
  • When you are ready to serve your Sangria, remove from the refrigerator. Add in your bottle of sprite right before serving so it stays fizzy.
  • To keep the sangria cold throughout your party, add in as many sprite ice cubes as needed throughout the day.
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xoxo, Food Marriage

Cool & Refreshing Cucumber Water Recipe

The first time I ever saw cucumber water was at The Stone Rose Restaurant in Conshohocken.  I thought it was such a great idea that I decided to make a party-sized version for my Girls Fantasy Football Draft Party!

Cucumber Water Recipe @FoodMarriage

This recipe makes boring water look fancy, gives it a little twist of flavor, and is effortless to put together.  All you have to do is have a big drink dispenser on hand, some water, and some cucumbers!  To tie it into my football themed party, I cut a football out of brown card stock, drew a football, and wrote “Cucumber Water” on it.  I then punched a hole in the top of the football and tied it to the drink dispenser with kitchen twine.

This cucumber water recipe is a perfect non-alcoholic drink option that is cool and refreshing on a hot summer day!

Cucumber Water

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 gallons of Cucumber Water

Cucumber Water

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cucumbers
  • Ice Cubes

Instructions

  • Pour 2 gallons of water into a large drink dispenser.
  • Get 2 cucumbers and cut the ends off each cucumber. Using a peeler, peel stripes down each cucumber (you will still leave some of the skin on, so you see stripes of the green skin as decoration)
  • Cut your cucumbers into slices.
  • Add cucumbers into the water.
  • Add in ice cubes.
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xoxo, Food Marriage

Sunday Brunch: Spiced Coffee Cake Recipe

Earlier this summer, I got together with some old work colleagues for a Sunday Brunch!  It was great to see everyone and try out everyone’s favorite breakfast recipes!  I decided to make a spiced coffee cake!  I created it by adapting my carrot cake recipe.  I took the basics of the old recipe I made before, took out the carrots, baked it in a different type of pan, and sprinkled powdered sugar on top instead of icing it with cream cheese icing like I did before.  It is so nice to be able to change these couple little things and come up with a whole new cake!

Coffee Cake Recipe @FoodMarriage

Spiced Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Spiced Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Powdered sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Grease a bundt pan with butter.
  • Mix the first 8 ingredients for your cake together in a mixing bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla).
  • Blend ingredients for one minute on low speed.
  • Switch to medium speed and blend for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Stir in your walnuts, and raisins.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Place pan into the oven and bake at 325° for about 50-55 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean).
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  • Remove cake from the pan once cooled and sprinkle powdered sugar on the top of your cake.
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xoxo, Food Marriage

Gluten Free Friday: Cheddar & Parsley Omelette

Breakfast doesn’t have to be bagels, muffins, and pastries.  A great way to enjoy a gluten free breakfast is with eggs.  I’m usually a grab a granola bar on the way out the door kind of girl, so I don’t typically take the time to make eggs in the morning.  However,  I had the day off from work today to enjoy a long weekend, so I had the luxury of taking my time making and eating breakfast today!

Omelette Recipe with Cheddar and Parsley @FoodMarriage

I had a large bunch of parsley from last week’s CSA pickup, so I was trying to be creative to use some of it up.  I decided to make a cheddar and parsley omelette!  I love cheese in my eggs and then the parsley gave a mild flavor and a lot of color to the meal.  I actually used a lot of cheese, so I used a 1/2 cup, but feel free to cut it down to 1/4 cup if you think it is too much for you.  Once it was cooked, I drizzled my omelette with ketchup and enjoyed a lovely breakfast on my back porch in the beautiful weather!

Cheddar & Parsley Omelette

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 1 large omelette

Cheddar & Parsley Omelette

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a pan on the stove over medium heat.
  • Crack your eggs into a bowl and beat the yolks into the whites with a fork.
  • Chop your fresh parsley and add to the eggs.
  • Grate your cheese and add to the eggs. Once it is mixed well, pour into an 8" omelette pan with the melted butter.
  • Cook on one side until the edges start to firm up and the middle starts to bubble up a bit.
  • Flip the entire omelette over to the other side to finish cooking through.
  • Once fully cooked, fold the omelette in half and serve.
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xoxo, Food Marriage