Butternut Squash Lasagna

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Sorry! I’ve been traveling again so it’s been a while. This is a dish I made for a special birthday dinner in March and adapted from one in Clean Eating magazine and have had to repeat it again because it is SOOOOO good and it keeps wonderfully to reheat as leftovers. You can even make it ahead and freeze half of it!

Ingredients:
2 medium butternut squash
2 tsp olive oil
3 medium/small sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 cup low-fat (or fat free) ricotta cheese
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
4 large egg whites
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (these are in the produce section!)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper (to taste)
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 large cans of Best Choice Tomato Meat Sauce (marinara already prepared, I add oregano or some spaghetti seasoning to it)
1/2 lb. oven ready no boil lasagna noodles (around two boxes)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Using a paper towel rub on olive oil and place with the cut sides down on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for at least 25 minutes until the squash is tender when pierced with fork. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. (This can be done ahead of time) Meanwhile heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large saute pan, add onions and stir for 2-3 minutes until they soften. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about 40 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are very soft and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside. (While onions carmelize, I get the other items together and move on to this next step to use my time better) Once squash is ready, scoop out flesh into a large blender or food processor. Add ricotta, nutmeg, egg whites and Parmesan and process until smooth. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and fold in onions. Reserve 1/2 cup of Mozzarella, cover and refrigerate until needed. Assemble the lasagna: Cover bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish with about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce. Lay a single layer of lasagna noodles on top (straight out of box, do not cook), then top with 1 cup of the butternut squash mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and some of the walnuts. Repeat the layers again, and keep repeating as long as you have ingredients for the layers and end with the butternut squash mixture and mozzarella and walnuts on top. (I typically do two really good layers, but you could do three) Cover the dish with foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil, top with remaining mozzarella and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven and allow to rest and set for 15 minutes before cutting into it. Serves 12!

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