Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big, Giant, Smokey, Delicious, Messy, Goodness

Last night I tried a new recipe. The change of seasons got me craving pasta and squash so I decided on a Tillamook Lasagna with Creamy Cheese Sauce and Butternut Squash and Sage.

I can honestly say I've never personally cooked anything with Butternut Squash before so I had no idea even how to cut it. But cut it I did! Into crazy, not uniform at all, sort of 1/2" chunks.

I followed the recipe exactly. And, I NEVER do that. I usually try to add my own flair. But since Chris was coming home last night after being gone for a few days I wanted something that tasted good.

Sadly, the recipe makes way more than fits in a 9x13 pan. Instead of just leaving some out, I poured it all in!

Big mistake.

In the oven, the wonderful creamy cheese sauce began to bubble over the sides and all over the bottom of the oven. I know what you're thinking "Didn't she realize that would happen?!". Well yes, yes I did. But you have to understand. I wanted to follow the recipe exactly. I NEVER do that. I thought somehow, because I was following the recipe exactly, it would all work out ok.

Big mistake.

Now our entire house smells like burnt cheese sauce. Even my jacket I wore to work today smells like it.

Oh, but the Lasagna.....DELICIOUS! I can't wait to get home and have some more.

So all that being said, if you ever decide to make this recipe either A) get a bigger pan than 9x13, or B) reduce the ingredients by 1/3.

I'm copying the recipe here just in case they ever decide to take it of their site. It is worth making again.

3 tablespoon Tillamook® Butter
5 tablespoons flour
5 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each pepper and nutmeg
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1½ cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons minced garlic and dried sage
6 cups butternut squash cut into ½" cubes
1 cup chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) package frozen cut spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 (9 ounce) package no-boil lasagne noodles
6 cups (1½ pounds) Tillamook® Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Melt butter in large saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg and parmesan. Set aside

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium. Sauté mushrooms until browned. Transfer to bowl. Heat remaining oil and add onion and thyme. Sauté 7 minutes until golden. Stir in garlic, sage, squash and broth. Cover and simmer 10 minutes until squash is tender. Uncover and stir in spinach and mushrooms. Cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1 cup white sauce in greased 9 x 13” pan and layer with noodles. Add half of squash mix; top with 1½ cups sauce and 2 cups cheese. Add another layer of noodles and repeat with remaining squash mix, same amount of sauce and cheese. Top with noodles, remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes until golden and bubbling. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

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