As we delve into squash, we’re all about ways of using squash as a vehicle for other delicious things. And we happen to have a thing for muffin pans. So when Jaymee told us about her Noodleless Lasagna Cups, we were all ears. Best of all, each individual cup will only cost you 182 calories, 11 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of fat. Don’t mind if we do!
– 1 peeled, seeded butternut squash
– 1 tablespoon olive oil, for brushing
– 1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese (fresh is best!)
– 1 large egg
– 1 tablespoon fresh minced oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves for garnish
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (rice flour for gluten free)
– 2 cups milk, slightly warmed on stove or in microwave (I used 1%)
– salt & pepper
– 1 cup fontina cheese, freshly shredded
– 1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
– freshly ground nutmeg, for garnishing
– Tools: muffin pan, mandoline
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a mandoline, slice squash into 1/8 inch slices. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until squash just starts to become pliable.
While squash is baking, mix together ricotta, egg and oregano. Set aside.
In a medium saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant, then add spinach. Cook until wilted. Remove from heat. Once cooled, squeeze out excess moisture, chop, and add to ricotta mixture.
In medium sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add chopped sage and cook for one minute. Add flour and whisk to combine. Let cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in warm milk. Continue cooking, stirring often, until sauce is simmering and thickened. Let sauce bubble gently until thick, about 5-10 minutes longer, stirring often so it doesn’t scorch on bottom. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble lasagna cups, spray muffin tin with cooking spray and place 12 of your largest slices in the bottom of each muffin cup. Spoon a layer of the ricotta mixture in each cup, and pour some of the white sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Fontina cheese and repeat layers once more, this time laying the squash piece the other direction. Top with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.
While lasagna cups are baking, fry sage leaves in hot olive oil for about 45 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels.
When lasagna is done, sprinkle each roll with a little nutmeg, top with a fried sage leave and serve!
What are your favorite unconventional ways to prepare squash? Let us know in the comments below.
Jaymee Sire is an Emmy-award winning television reporter CSN Bay Area. When she isn’t covering a sporting event, her true passion is food. Check out Jaymee’s alphabet-themed food blog, E is for Eat, and be sure to follow her on Twitter & Facebook.