October is almost over! :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
But that means that Halloween is almost here! :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Since I recently discovered (two days ago) that I was going to have the kids for Halloween this year instead of sending them to their dad's, I have been frantically throwing together the costumes I'd been thinking about for weeks, but not actually making. Yesterday was a 12-hour-solid day of crafting, sewing, painting, researching, running to the big box store, wig-styling...ugh. It's amazing what we can do when we go into a project thinking "I literally have no choice but to make this work."
So I don't have anything to show you yet because I'm planning to show off the costumes tomorrow. But! In the meantime! I made a pretty tasty lasagna that I'd love to share with you. :)
Click "Read More" for some truly glorious photos and the recipe...
I bought an acorn squash with no plans for it. I just thought it looked pretty, and Trader Joe's had them for $1.29 apiece. How could I resist? I couldn't, that's how.
But after a while I began to realize that an acorn squash is actually kind of delicious and should probably be used in a way that allows me to eat it (or some of it anyway), rather than being a table decoration until it rots...
PLUS I had some no-boil lasagna noodles...
AND some ricotta cheese...
AND some leftover mozzarella...
AND a bunch of veggies that were about to go bad and needed a home...
HOLY CRAP ACORN SQUASH VEGETABLE LASAGNA HERE I COME!!
Here is my beautiful acorn squash:
Here is my beautiful cleaver (complete with reflection so you know for sure that I take all of my blog photos with my iPhone):
Acorn squash, meet cleaver. :)
Scraped out the seeds (which, if I had been a good little Martha Stewart clone, I would have saved to roast or something, but LOL NOPE I threw them away):
Now SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS on the Internet told me that all I needed to do was roast the acorn squash, cut sides down, in a 425F oven for about an hour.
So into the oven it went...at 425...set the timer for 60 minutes...
It's a good thing I have a good sense of smell because 40 minutes later something was definitely burning:
Turns out 60 minutes is too long to roast an acorn squash. Who knew? NOT THE PERSON WHO MISLED ME, THAT'S WHO. (You know who you are.)
I turned the squash pieces over and found that the damage wasn't really all that bad:
As I peeled the skin off the flesh (because it's Halloween and something around here should be scarier than my kitchen experiments), I scraped off what I could of the blackened bits, but some of it got mixed into the squash. I decided to call it "caramelized" and move on.
Now this really required more prep than I realized at the time. I had to chop, grate, break or otherwise scrape/scoop EVERYTHING in that picture. But once it was all done to my liking, the fun part began.
I took a heaping spoonful of the sauce and spread it around the bottom of my casserole dish, then added no-boil lasagna noodles and a thin layer of ricotta cheese:
Then the veggies! Chopped mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, chopped fresh basil, baby spinach, a thin layer of acorn squash puree, and a sprinkle of minced garlic:
I was able to do it three times before topping it off with a layer of noodles, ricotta, sauce, and cheese:
Into the oven it went for about 30 minutes!
Out of the oven it came looking like this:
And smelling amazing...
And looking beautiful...
And generally being awesome at existing...
It's so good!!!! The acorn squash is just sweet enough to balance the inherent bitterness of the spinach and the bell pepper, and I always love a handful of mushrooms for texture.
As with most lasagnas, this took some work and some time. But it was SO worth it!
ACORN SQUASH LASAGNA RECIPE!!
1 box no-boil lasagna
1 jar marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 large bell pepper cut into strips
4-5 fresh basil leaves chopped or juliennedthe mashed flesh of 1 medium acorn squash
2-3 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Layer ingredients in a casserole dish like so:
- 1 spoonful marinara sauce
- 1 layer of no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 thin layer of ricotta cheese
- mushrooms, spinach, bell pepper, basil, and acorn squash
- sprinkle garlic
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup sauce
- Repeat steps 2-7 until you run out of room or ingredients
- Lasagna noodles
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella and parmesan
- Bake! 30 minutes or until cheese is nice and brown and it, you know, looks like lasagna.