Delicious rolls of tender pasta, filled with a luxurious squash filling, baked in bechamel, loaded with cheese, and topped with the tastiest crunchy bacon topping ever. This dish is worthy of every special occasion, dinner guest, holiday celebration, or just because.
So, occasionally, I fail. Actually, with relative frequency, I fail completely. In the kitchen, it happens, and just like everywhere else (like in a triathlon for example) if I am not happy with an outcome, I just try again. And again. I am particularly good about that, basically because I am ridiculously stubborn like that.
Those tartlets. Those damn tartlets. What a friggin disappointment they were. And I made them for football too. The AFC championship game when my Pats lost to Denver. Gah. In my head, they tasted so good too, but in reality, blech. 😖
So, the issue was the filo cups. I have used mini filo dough cups in all sorts of recipes, tartlets, appetizers, and such. I love them, and they are so handy. But for this filling – which was DELICIOUS by the spoonful before I jacked it all up – filo was wrong. So wrong. …but the filling was really good. So, I came up with a different recipe to use it, and this one is gold. 😍
So what we have here is a very cheesy tasty, savory squash and sage lasagna filling. I decided to roll the pasta up like so just because I think it’s cool. I made a quick and light bechamel to pour over to keep it all happy and tender. And I put the bacon on top. This is key – I’m not the first to pair bacon with squash in a lasagna roll, but far as I can tell I’m the first to tell you straight up (and sorry to be a little preachy but…) DO NOT put bacon IN dishes and fillings like this. Why? Cuz what happens to bacon when it gets wet? It gets gummy. That’s not yummy, it’s actually kinda gross. Ohmigerd, this such a pet peeve, like when I see recipes telling us to mix bacon into deviled egg filling. Why do that to bacon? What did bacon do to you? No, we want our delicious awesome smoky bacon, but we want it CRISP! like bacon is meant to be. 🙌 So put it on top. Always. 👌
[ok, I’m off the soap box…]
So that’s it kids. This dish is amazing, delicious, the leftovers rock, you know the drill. Using the squash is different in such a great way, and the flavor with the ricotta makes for a fantastic filling. This one is sure to impress anyone guys!
- 1 (~3-4lb - a good size one) butternut squash, skinned, seeded, and chopped in ~2-in pieces
- 1/2 large white onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 Tbs finely chopped sage
- 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- couple pinches fresh cracked pepper
- 1 (12 oz) box lasagna noodles
- 1 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 6 slices bacon, cooked until fat is rendered but not crisp, and chopped
- 2 Tbs finely chopped sage
- 1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat oven to 350F.
- Steam the squash until fork tender. Set aside to cool and drain well.
- Into a mixing bowl add the squash, onion, garlic, ricotta, sage, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and the egg. Use a potato masher to mash the squash and combine the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Add additional salt to taste (season well!).
- To make the bechamel, heat a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the butter and flour and whisk until smooth. Let it bubble a minute to cook the flour, then slowly whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes until just barely thickened. Set aside off the heat.
- To make the Bacon Topping: Using your fingers, combine the bacon, sage, panko, and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add a palmful of salt to the boiling water. Add the lasagna noodles and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain and drinse with cold water until cool enough to handle.
- To assemble: lay out sheets of pasta. Place a heaping 1/4 cup of the squash mixture on each and use a spoon to spread the filling along the noodle. Roll up the noodle and place in a 13x9 make dish sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with the rest of the filling and noodles.
- Top the lasagna roll-ups with the remaining 2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Pour the bechamel sauce over all the casserole. Top with bacon-panko topping.
- Spray the underside of a piece of foil large enough to cover the bake dish. Cover the bake dish tightly, cooking spray-side down. Bake at 350F, covered with the foil, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until just bubbly. Yields: 6 servings.