Author Notes: If you are only making these for a few people, then assembling all them while all of the layered components are first cooked and serving immediately is best. But if you are preparing them as a first course to a crowd, you can assemble them en masse on a sheet, cover loosely with foil and reheat. You could top the stack with a fourth layer of pasta, sprinkle some freshly-grated pecorino on top of it and finish the dish under the broiler. —cheese1227
Serves: serves eight as an appetizer, four as a main course
1 lb washed spinach
Two medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces.
Good quality olive oil
2 cups whole milk ricotta
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
Eight fresh lasagna noodles, each cut in thirds
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil. When it does, blanch the spinach by dropping it into the water and pushing it under so that it is submerged for about one minute. Drain the water from the spinach. Allow the spinach to cool enough for you to touch it and using your hands squeeze as much water from it as possible. Then chop the spinach well enough so that you don’t have any long stringy bits in the mix. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add squash squares and sauté for about 10-12 minutes so that the squash is fork tender and caramelized golden brown on one or two faces of each dice. Once tender and caramelized a bit, set aside, but keep warm.
In a medium saucepan, warm the ricotta cheese; add the nutmeg, chopped spinach and pecorino. Set aside, but keep warm. Combine 1/3 of squash with 1/3 of ricotta mixture, set aside, but keep warm.
- In a large pot of well-salted boiling water, drop half of your cut lasagna sheets. They should cook in about two minutes. Remove them with a hand strainer or slotted spoon and put them in a large bowl and drizzle some good quality olive oil over the sheets to keep them from sticking. Repeat with the second batch of cut pasta sheet.
- To assemble the individual lasagnas, put one sheet of pasta on a plate, season with sea salt and black pepper and spread 2-3 tablespoons of the ricotta and spinach mixture. Top with a second pasta sheet and spread out a quarter cup of squash pieces. Top with a third piece of pasta and 3 tablespoons of ricotta, spinach and squash mixture. Season with more salt and pepper and finish the dish by drizzling a bit of olive oil over the top.
- Repeat this process until all of the ingredients are used up.
- These are best served immediately after assembly.
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