Advocate-tested recipe

Butternut Squash Lasagna With Blue Cheese and Mozzarella

Makes 6 servings. Recipe is by Helana Brigman, who suggests using a Silpat mat when preparing the dish. Make it in a 9.5- by-12.5-inch casserole dish or a somewhat deep, 4- to 5-quart baking dish.

5 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed into 1-inch pieces

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbl. olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Ricotta Sauce

1 cup ricotta (whole is best, not low-fat or skim)

1 egg

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 tbls. salted butter

1 tbl. whole-wheat flour

1 tbl. all-purpose flour

11/2 cups milk (skim works fine)

1 cup blue cheese

10 ozs. lasagna noodles (about 10 or 11 strips), cooked according to pkg. instructions

2 tbls. fresh basil, chopped (can substitute 1 tbl. dried basil)

2 tbls. fresh sage, chopped (can substitute 1 tsp. dried sage)

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss butternut squash and onion together with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread across a lined (I prefer using a Silpat mat) baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, flipping occasionally, or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

2. Prepare ricotta sauce: Mix ricotta with egg, salt and pepper. Reserve for assembling lasagna.

3. Meanwhile, cook lasagna based on package instructions (al dente — tender, but still somewhat firm). Remove from heat and strain, keeping moist until ready for use.

4. Prepare blue cheese sauce: Melt butter in a nonstick, medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in both wheat and all-purpose flour and cook for 1 minute to give the flour a nutty flavor. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in blue cheese.

5. Grease casserole dish with nonstick spray and scoop several tablespoons of both the blue cheese sauce and ricotta mixture over the bottom of your pan. Lay several lasagna noodles flat across the surface, trimming overhanging pasta. Spoon more blue cheese sauce over the lasagna. Add half of your butternut squash and onion and dress in half of remaining ricotta mixture. Assemble next layer in the same order: lasagna noodles, blue cheese sauce, the rest of your butternut squash, ricotta and the last of the lasagna. On the top layer, cover with any of your leftover cheeses and sprinkle all over with mozzarella, salt, pepper, basil and sage.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top of lasagna is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.