Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

image via realsimple.com

Discovered by Cleo in the October issue of Real Simple magazine, this lasagna is downright addictive. Between our two households, it was made 4 times in the span of 2 weeks, and we foresee it being a recipe workhorse this winter. While delightfully easy to make, the original recipe was lacking in seasoning, so Cleo punched up the bechamel base with the addition of nutmeg, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and thyme. Perfect either for a cozy weeknight dinner or as a vegetarian option at a holiday meal, we guarantee this recipe's perfect marriage of sweet, savory, spicy and earthy flavors will become a favorite of yours too.

Ingredients

-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the foil -6 tablespoons all-purpose flour -4 cups milk (skim, whole, goat...go with whatever works for you!) -Salt and pepper -Dried spices and herbs: nutmeg, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, thyme or sage -1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced (preferably using a mandolin) -4 cups torn kale leaves (from 1 small bunch) -6 no-cook lasagna noodles -1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère (6 ounces)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until foamy, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp thyme or 1/2 tsp sage (or both!) and 1/8 tsp+ of cayenne if you like a little extra kick. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure to taste test your seasoning and add more if needed about 4 minutes into the thickening process.
  2. Spread a fifth of the milk mixture in the bottom an 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Top with a layer of squash, a layer of kale, more sauce, and then 3 lasagna noodles. Repeat, ending with the remaining lasagna noodles and milk mixture. Top with the Gruyère.
  3. Cover the dish with buttered foil and bake until the filling is bubbling and the noodles are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes, then feel free to broil until the top is golden brown, 2 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long!