FOX 25 Boston’s Sorboni Banerjee’s Butternut Squash Lasagna

4221861_GShe brings you the news on FOX 25 Boston, and now TV wonder woman Sorboni Banerjee brings us her favorite and most popular family recipe, butternut squash lasagna.

Boston’s sweetheart newscaster is more than just a pretty face and smart reporter… she loves spending time in the kitchen like most of the amazing women we’ll be profiling in the guest blog section. Last week, we highlighted NECN’s Meteorologist Nelly Cerrano’s Tortilla Soup, which was a big hit amongst our foodie readers, and we have no doubt Sorboni’s will do just as well.

Ingredients:

1 Package Lasagna Noodles
1 Large Butternut Squash
10 oz. Package Spinach
3 Large Shallots chopped
1/2 C Gorgonzola Cheese crumbled
1 lb. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese shredded
3 C Milk
4T Unsalted Butter
4T Flour all purpose
8 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/3 C Parmesan Cheese grated
1/3 C Romano Cheese grated
1t Nutmeg grated
2T Fresh Sage chopped
1/4 C Fresh Parsley chopped
1/4 C Fresh Basil chopped
2T Balsamic Vinegar
2T Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Butternut squashFirst, cut the squash in half the long way, scrape out the seeds and fibers and discard. Peel each squash half removing and discarding the tough skin. Cut the squash into thin slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Top with the fresh sage leaves. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes until tender and golden brown. Set aside.

Bechamel Sauce: For those of you who don’t know what a béchamel sauce is, it’s one of the five mother sauces in the culinary world and is the base for many dishes including lasagna, macaroni and cheese and fondu, to name a few.

A-Simple-Bechamel-Sauce-White-Sauce-02
Bechamel Sauce… One of the five mother sauces. (butter, flour, milk, nutmeg)

 

In a sauce pot, melt the butter. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until softened…about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir. Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the flour has cooked out and turned lightly brown. Add about a teaspoon each of the fresh parsley and sage. Slowly mix in the milk and stir vigorously. Bring this to a boil. Add the nutmeg and basil, and season with salt and pepper.

Note: Bechamel sauce will not reach it’s full thickness until it’s come to a boil… so make sure you see bubbles!

noodlesBring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles until soft.

Spinach: Lightly steam the spinach, cool, drain and chop.

Note: To drain the spinach, put the leaves between two pieces of paper towel and squeeze as if you were ringing out a towel. This is the best way to remove the moisture from the spinach which consists of mostly water. This is an important step to avoid having runny and watery lasagna. 

In a small bowl, combine the drained and chopped steamed spinach with about 1/2 Cup of the béchamel sauce. Add the Gorgonzola cheese and set aside.

Lasagna: Coat a regular size baking dish (9 1/2 x 13) with olive oil. Top the bottom of the pan with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle both the Parmesan and Romano cheese over the top. Next, add a layer of lasagna noodles followed by the squash slices. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Ladle another scoop of the béchamel sauce and again sprinkle with the Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Next… a layer of noodles followed by a layer of spinach.

BÉCHAMEL – PARMESAN/ROMANO – NOODLES – SQUASH – MOZZARELLA – BÉCHAMEL – PARMESAN/ROMANO – NOODLES – SPINACH.

Repeat the process until about 1/4 inch is left of the pan. Top the last layer with dollops of Ricotta cheese and sprinkle the entire top with any leftover Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella and fresh herbs. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil after a half hour and bake uncovered until the top is golden brown and bubbly!

squash-and-broccoli-rabe-lasagna
Thank you Sorbani for this amazing recipe! We can’t wait to test it out.  Next week’s guest blog comes from MLB Network’s Lauren Shehadi… and finally, we have a dessert!

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Not only has Jen Royle been cooking in her spare time for most of her life while working as a professional sports reporter, but many of your favorite, successful and brilliant women of sports and entertainment have as well. And of course, we are here to expose them and their culinary talents!

We are please to have some amazing women who we all know and love guest blog their favorite recipe here on Dare To Taste in a new weekly column.

We have lined up Boston’s sweetheart and former Red Sox sideline reporter and current NFL sideline gal for “The NFL on CBS,” Jenny Dell.  Two Red Sox’ sideline reporters before her, Tina Cervasio, now the team reporter for the New York Knicks on the MSG Network. The amazingly talented, alway generous and beautiful Catherine Varitek, wife of Red Sox legend Jason Varitek, who has her own successful food blog, Thyme With Catherine. ESPN’s wonder woman Jaymee Sire, who also runs her own amazing food blog E is for Eat. Fox 25 Boston’s one and only, the brilliant Sorboni Banerjee. MLB Network’s lovely studio host Lauren Shehadi. Los Angeles Dodgers reporter and studio host, the awesome Alanna Rizzo. Boston’s Channel 7 Anchor and sweetheart of the city (little) Janet Wu. And NECN’s spunky meteorologist, the fantastic Nelly Cerrano.  And we are adding to this list every day!

Stay tuned for the first celebrity blog this week! We can’t wait to see what these talented ladies have in store for us… and our kitchens!