Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne

This is perfect as a side dish or entree served with a salad of bitter greens like arugula and a light vinaigrette. Serves 6

For squash filling:
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 Tbls. melted butter
3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced in to 1/4-inch slices 1 teaspoon
minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. powdered dry sage
1 cup hazelnuts (4 oz), toasted, loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel, and coarsely chopped
Parchment paper and two cookie sheets

For sauce:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups milk or white chicken stock, heated
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

For assembling lasagne:
1/2 lb mozzarella, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino (3 oz)
12 (7- by 3 1/2-inch) sheets no-boil lasagne (1/2 lb)

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 375˚ and cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir the salt, pepper and sage to blend. In a large bowl,  toss the sliced onion and squash with the melted butter. Sprinkle the spice mixture over squash-onion mixture and toss. 

Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes. Toss with a spatula if the squash if needed. 

Make sauce while squash cooks:
Cook garlic in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Do not brown. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk or stock in a stream, whisking. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. (Butter or cover surface of sauce with wax paper if not using immediately.)

Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne

Assemble lasagne:
Turn up oven to 425°F.
Toss cheeses together. Remove bay leaf from sauce and spread 1/2 cup sauce in a buttered 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish (or other shallow 3-quart baking dish) and cover with 3 pasta sheets, leaving spaces between sheets. Spread with 2/3 cup sauce and one third of filling and chopped hazelnuts, then sprinkle with a heaping 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times, beginning with pasta sheets and ending with cheese. Top with remaining 3 pasta sheets, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese. 

Tightly cover baking dish with buttered foil and bake lasagne in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Cooks' note:
Filling and sauce can be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled. 
Bring to room temperature before assembling.

Adapted from Gourmet, December 2001
Community Cuisine, Barbie Aknin