Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baked Winter Squash, Raisin and Pine Nut Lasagna -WWW

Here is another great recipe utilizing winter squash. I chose to use butternut, one of my favorites. As with any other lasagna recipe, this one takes a bit of time and creates a sink full of dishes. The good thing is that you can make this ahead of time and freeze the leftovers for a future meal. The recipe can be found here. It calls for 10 oz of cooked winter squash. I peeled and cubed my butternut squash, placed it in a glass bowl with a bit of water and cooked it in the microwave for about 9 minutes until it was tender, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then I weighed out 10 oz and pureed that amount in the food processor. The remainder of the squash I also pureed (about 2 1/4 cups), placed in a ziplock freezer bag and set aside for later. Actually, the bag is one of those ziplock vacuum bags. I just picked one up a few weeks ago and I love it. I have been lusting after a foodsaver system for a long time, but haven't saved my pennies up for one just yet. The ziplock vacuum was only $3.99, and so far, works very nicely. Back to the lasagna.

I baked my lasagna in loaf pans. Since there are only 2 of us I find this works out much better than baking in a traditional pan. The pasta fits in perfectly (as always, I use the no-boil noodles), you can bake one pan for dinner, bake the others about 2/3 of the way, cool, wrap and freeze them in the pan. Then you have them on hand to bake when you don't have time to prepare dinner from scratch. Now, I only made 2 pans this time, since I had not made this recipe before. I used 4 noodles per pan and all of the filling, so I am not sure how this would change the points count. I also get 2 servings per pan, so I will get a total of 4 servings. I found the serving size to be fine, and since this is such a healthy recipe to start with, felt no guilt. I will post the original recipe for those who are counting the points values. I will also include my one addition, and that was a small amount of dried thyme. I felt that some sort of herb should be added to enhance the taste of the squash.

This really was a surprisingly good recipe. The combination of ingredients gives it a very rich taste. I especially like the addition of the golden raisins. I served this with a salad of arugula, pears, walnuts and goat cheese with a light raspberry vinaigrette. A perfect, light and comforting vegetarian meal.

Winter Squash, Raisin and Pine Nut Lasagna
servings 8
POINTS® Value: 6

1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp dried thyme
10 oz dry lasagna noodles, cooked al dente (about 12 noodles), or no-boil noodles
10 oz cooked winter squash, thawed if frozen
1 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup(s) golden seedless raisins
2 tbsp pine nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place flour in a small saucepan and very gradually whisk in milk and garlic. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce simmers and is thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and thyme.

Spread 1/4 cup of cheese sauce over bottom of a 9 X 13-inch glass or metal pan and cover with 3 lasagna noodles; top with 1/3 of squash and 1/2 cup of cheese sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of raisins. Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles and spread with 1/3 of remaining squash and 1/2 cup of cheese sauce; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of raisins. Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles and top with remaining squash and raisins; cover with last 3 lasagna noodles, pressing sheets firmly down. Top with remaining cheese sauce; sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake until lasagna bubbles around edges and is browned on top, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

For other great Weight Watcher recipes, check out the archives at Weight Watcher Wednesday!


vermilion girl said...

Howdy Kim.
Looks GREAT!!
You always have a way to cover it all:
1.) Health conscious
2.) Hearty
3.) Freezer meal
**P E R F E C T**

kat said...

oh i love this take on lasagna, I have to try it. I just got some of those zip lock things too & think its a great system for the price

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks delicious! I like your idea of using the loaf pans.

Heather said...

wow! that looks tasty! i like the loaf pans. squash and raisins sound tasty together. and i loooove pine nuts in lasagna (or anything)!

Foodycat said...

Using the loaf pans is such a good idea! This whole dish sounds wonderful - the raisins and pinenuts just add so much interest.