This Rachael Ray recipe was fabulous! With all the recent attention I've given to kale, I forgot how much I enjoy escarole in dishes. This is a recipe that uses many pots and pans, but the result is worth it. I felt like it gave us a hearty veggie serving, and I used skim milk to lighten the creamy sauce. We are planning on enjoying this again while it still feels like winter around here. This was enough food for days. We enjoyed it for dinner, a few lunches, and another leftover dinner. It would be a great dish to serve to company on a chilly night.
You will need:
*1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
*2 tablespoons olive oil with more for drizzling
*salt and pepper
*1 pound ruffle-edge lasagna noodles, broken into irregular shapes
*4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
*1 medium head escarole, chopped
*1 cup chicken stock
*1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I prefer part-skim)
*small handful of sage leaves, thinly sliced
*1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 tablespoons flour
*2 cups milk (I used skim)
*Freshly grated nutmeg (I used ground)
*1 1/2 cups Italian Fontina or Gruyère cheese (I used Gruyère)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange the squash on a baking sheet and lightly dress with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35-45 minutes. Squash should be golden at edges and tender.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and under-cook pasta by about 2 minutes. While the water comes to a boil, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add garlic and stir a minute then add escarole and wilt. Season with a little salt and pepper, and add stock. Keep at a gentle simmer until ready to use.
3. In a small bowl, stir together ricotta, sage, salt, pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
4. In a saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook a minute or so then whisk in milk. Increase the heat a bit and season sauce with salt, pepper, and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Let sauce thicken to coat the back of a spoon then taste to adjust seasonings.
5. Drain lasagna noodles and add them back to hot pot. Stir in ricotta cheese mixture, then fold in roasted squash and escarole. Transfer to a casserole dish and pour the milk sauce evenly over the top. Cover with scant layer of Fontina or Gruyère cheese, and place in the hot oven on center rack. Switch oven to broil and leave casserole in oven until lasagna is brown and bubbly all over, about 4 minutes.
*Find more Rachael Ray recipes on Saturdays with Rachael Ray hosted by Taste and Tell.