This is the main dish I made on Friday night. It was great, but it doesn’t sound like it should be. I didn’t make this recipe up; it came from the Sunset cookbook my friend gave me; let’s all wave at Liz.
Lasagna made of butternut squash and kale. Plus all the other ingreejents you’d normally put in lasagna: tomato sauce, cheese, noodles.
You need butternut squash, a pound of kales, a red onion, wholewheat noonles (that’s not a typo-more later), ricotta cheese, mozarella cheese, canned tomatoes, fresh oregano and thyme, garlic, nutmeg, and saltypeps.
Stirte a diced red onion and a minced clove of garlic in some olive oil until the onions are translucent.
Add two cans of diced tomatos, with the juice, and a handful of fresh oregano. Plus saltypeps. Simmer for 30 minutes. Use a timer. You’re going to need about two timers to make this lasagna because you’re doing things simultaneously. Which I cannot possibly do without timers.
By the way, if you’re going to plant one herb in your garden, it should be oregano. It is the best herb on the planet Earth. You should definitely plant some. Anyone can grow it, because, like all herbs, it just needs dirt and water. It thrives on neglect. If you wanted to neglect two herbs, then you could also plant rosemary. I’m just sayin’.
One of the reasons I loved making this lasagna is because of how beautiful it was, every step along the way. Good visuals plus hot sex knives=a semi-adequate temporary substitute for carnal relations. Yes, I’m sublimating. Who cares?
While you’re lazily stirteing the tomato sauce, peel a butternut squash. Butternut squashes are peelable with a regular old vegetable peeler, but get all the way down to the orange squash goodness. Chop it into half inch squares.
The arrow is pointing to the container that I put kitchen scraps in to take them out to the bin that then goes out to the curb and gets composted by the city. It plays an important part later.
Mix the squash squares with olive oil, saltypeps, some thyme, and two whole cloves of garlic. There’s one there, peeking out from underneath the squash2.
Put it in the oven at 400 degrees. It’s going to take much longer than you think to get soft. It seems like little pieces like that would take tentyfifteen minutes. Nuh uh.
Starting checking the squash2 after it’s been in the oven about 20 minutes. It’ll probably take about thirty minutes, altogether, but if you start checking it at 20, you won’t miss the wonderful point when a fork goes through the squash2 like buttah. Check at 20, then set your timer for five minutes. Rinse and repeat.
It looks all juicy and tender and full of goodness when it’s ready. Like this:
While you’re waiting for the squash2 to cook, boil a couple of quarts of water. Here’s a picture of what THAT looks like. Just in case.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil and the squash2 to cook (which means you’re officially triple-tasking in the kitchen. I think you get a medal for that), molest the kale.
Pull it off the center spines, so that you have this, which you want:
and this, which you don’t:[Let's just chat for a mo about kale. There's nothing remotely endearing about it. Even the name --kale--is sort of off-putting. It sounds like 'scale' and 'krill'. I don't even really like picking it up at the store and wrestling it into a bag. But, oddly enough, a recipe that I'm going to post really soon is kale prepared in a way that is completely and totally irresistable. Seriously. I bought an entire bunch of kale 24 hours ago, and I've eaten the whole thing by myself.]
This next part is optional.
Because the container is full of kale spines and butternut peelings, not to mention onion skins, take it out to the dark and dump it in the bin that goes to the curb. This is the same thing as the yard debris bin, and it’s about four feet tall. When you dump the compost into the bin, drop a perfectly good spoon in, as well.
Go back in the house and get the salad tongs and the camera. Turn the yard debris bin on its side and use the fleeting light from the flash on the camera to try to find the spoon because you can’t think of where you might have a flashlight.
Six pictures of rotting vegetable matter later, come back inside and put this on the windowsill. Pat yourself on the back, figuratively, for not continuing to try to find the spoon in the dark. Find it the next day in about 20 seconds.
The water is now boiling. Put the kale in it until it’s limp but still green. Drain it and let it cool, then squeeze the bejeesus out of it. It’s now a tiny little wad of kale.
Refill the pot with water for the lasagna noonles. When Nurse Tattoo was little, she had a friend who couldn’t pronounce the ‘d’ in noodles. They were noonles. They’ve been noonles in my head ever since.
While the water is boiling and the noonles are cooking, chop the wad ‘o kale into tiny pieces.
Is the squash2 is done? Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes while the lasagna noonles finish cooking.
Drain them and rinse them.
Now mix a container of ricotta cheese, a cup of grated mozzarella cheese, and a dollop of nutmeg. Like a half teaspoon.
So now you have tomato sauce, chopped kale, noonles, and cheese mix. You need to do one more thing. Put the squash2 in a food processor and puree the aitch ee double hockey sticks out of it.
Here are your ingreejents, ready for assemblage.
I think that’s really beautiful. And you are SO close to being done.
From bottom to top, in an ungreased 9 X 13 inch pan:
A thirdtyhalf of the tomato sauce
Butternut squash goo
Half the kale
Other half of the kale
Rest of tomato sauce
Another generous cup of mozzarella
Bake it at 400 degrees until the cheese is yummy and golden and the innards are all bubbly.