I love comfort food more than anything else. I mean, sure Pork Taco Bowls are stinking delicious, and Hawaiian Pulled Pork is absolutely mouth watering, but make me choose between one of those recipes and a comfort food like Browned Butter Butternut and Pork Lasagna and hands down the lasagna wins. I mean it’s got pork, one of my all time favorite meats, browned butter-pure heaven, carbs-who doesn’t love carbs, and melty, gooey, delicious cheese. BOO-YAH! As soon as I got the email from the National Pork Board to create a few recipes for them I knew I’d say yes to working with them, but then they wanted comfort recipes?! Heck yeah I’m on board with that. And this lasagna was born. And we loved it. And now you will too.
I was looking through the recipe section on the Pork Be Inspired site and man, everything looks so juicy and delicious! I’ve found many a wonderful recipe there, but I was actually trying to make sure that there wasn’t a recipe like this one, which there isn’t. Butternut squash actually smells comforting. It’s so warm, nutty, and creamy. I just knew that a combination of my favorite fall/winter flavor with pork was totally the way to go. Oh, and there’s a secret in the puree, Ginger Snap cookies. Trust me, it’s exactly what the puree needs.
It’s actually not even the lasagna that totally made me feel at home but the squash and pork which brought back a flood of memories for me. I grew up in Washington state. Yes, it rains a lot. But aside from that it’s actually a beautiful place to grow up. I love how fresh and clean everything feels. I especially love the sounds of cars driving by, wet tires splashing the water on the sides of the roads and driving through puddles, rain pitter pattering against the rough and pouring down the windows. I love how easy it is to sleep with the rain and wind outside. The air is cool, the sky dark and dreamy, and everything from the mist to actual down pours outside. I bet you didn’t know there are a whole list of different kinds of rain did you? In the Pacific North West we don’t just have rain, they are all different, mist, drizzle, rain, down pour, sleet, etc, etc.
I no longer live in the PNW, but I find myself missing it. Now it gets dark and the clouds full and I find myself wanting to snuggle up with a good book and something warm and delicious. That’s my comfort place. This lasagna has the aroma of crisp, cool fall nights, the flavor of juicy pork and nutty squash, and the comfort factor of all that cheese. It’s perfection. It’s like a mashup of my life growing up with a huge garden and all the squash we grew and then had to find recipes to keep up with it, and who I am now in my eating, things a little more up to date, but still totally classic. Plus the pork, we are pork obsessed in this house and not afraid to admit it.
But it’s not all about me, don’t you have something that makes you feel warm and comforted?
What Is Browned Butter?
Brown butter is a simple one-ingredient sauce that can transform all kinds of recipes.
It is made by melting butter in a sauce pan until it boils.
Then reduce the heat and stir occasionally until the butter is brown and has a nutty aroma.
What Can You Substitute for Butternut Squash?
You can use any winter squash, including buttercup, hubbard, sugar pumpkin, and acorn as a substitute for butternut squash.
How Long Will Butternut Squash Keep?
Butternut squash can be stored for up to 6 months if stored properly.
Squash should be stored in a cool, dry location.
Browned Butter Butternut and Pork Lasagna
For the Squash
- 1 1/2 Lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
- olive oil
- salt pepper
- 2 Leaves of Sage (fresh)
- 2 Ginger Snap Cookies
Browned Butter Sauce
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 2 Cups Low Fat Milk
- 1 1/2 Cups Half and Half
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Lasagna
- 1 pound Ground Pork
- 1 package no boil Lasagna noodles
- 2 Cups Gruyere Cheese, shredded
- 2 1/2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
For the Squash
- Heat the oven to 425, and place the squash on a large pan and drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Roast for 25 minutes or until tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Place the squash, sage and ginger snaps in the blender and pulse until smooth.
- Set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the ground pork.
- Turn down to medium and allow the pork to cook through, breaking it up into small meatball portions. This allows a little more pork flavor in the dish instead of small crumbles of meat throughout.
- Cook about 6-8 minutes or until cooked through and remove from the pan to drain.
For the Sauce
- Meanwhile, heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add the butter.
- Cook until the butter begins to foam and turn nutty brown in color, whisking occasionally, and then as soon as it's amber in color, throw in the garlic.
- Cook for a few seconds and then add the flour and quickly whisk.
- Continue to cook until nutty in flavor and golden.
- Pour in the liquids and continue to whisk until smooth.
- Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, continue to cook until thickened.
- Set aside.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread about ¼ cup white sauce on the bottom of an 8x8” pan.
- Lay down strips of lasagna noodles.
- Add a scoop, about 1/3- ½ cup of white sauce and lightly spread over the noodles.
- Add 1/3 Cup butternut squash puree and spread over the sauce.
- Dot with pork and sprinkle with ¼ cup of each cheese.
- Continue with layers until you read the top and then add all remaining cheeses.
- Bake the lasagna for 35-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
You can buy pre peeled and chopped butternut squash in most produce sections of your local store.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 657 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 121.7mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 47.8g Fiber: 2.8g Sugar: 12g Protein: 30.9g