Squash and Escarole Lasagna


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, plus extra for the escarole
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium heads escarole, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons very, very thinly sliced fresh sage
  • 1/2 pound good-quality mozzarella cheese (I used fior di latte), diced
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)
  • Shredded Fontina Val d’Aosta or Gruyère cheese, for topping


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Slice the squash into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Place on a baking sheet. Spray the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (I made this dish as a make-ahead so I turned the oven off at this point, but if you’re carrying on, then leave the oven on but turn it down to 375°F.)

Melt the butterin a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and let that cook out a bit. Whisk in the stock, then the milk. Season with salt, pepper, and a few gratings of nutmeg. Simmer until the sauce just barely coats a spoon. You want it to be a little bit looser than you normally would because you’re making lasagna here and it’s going to get absorbed into the pasta and dry out in the oven.

In a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO (3 turns of the pan) or medium to medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender. Then wilt in the escarole, adding just a little bit of stock to keep it moist.

Combine the ricotta, egg, sage, mozzarella, Parm, and pecorinoin a large bowl.

Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan (I use my square baker, because it works well with the shape of the Barilla pasta sheets). Then make layers in this order: lasagna sheets, squash half-moons (shingle them in), lasagna sheets, escarole, sauce, ricotta. Then repeat the layering. Top the lasagna with some Fontina and a little Parm.

Bake the lasagna covered for 1 hour. Uncover and bake until browned on top. Let cool 20 minutes before you cut it.

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