This lasagna, rich with garlic cream sauce, salty prosciutto, kale for health and heartiness, and sweet butternut squash is for my friend Daina.
While I have aspirations of quitting my desk job to become a writer/doula/blogger/scuba instructor/yogi/traveler/(mom/wife)/(writer!)/adventurer – and necessarily also to find 16 more hours in the day, an excellent nanny, and a wealthy benefactor – my pal Daina really is doing “it.” She’s an artist who I met at my local farmer’s market probably three years ago now, and I fell in love with her art in a way I’ve loved no other.
In our house, we have six of her pieces, I have given two of her originals away as wedding gifts, and have wrapped up numerous of her prints to give to lucky friends. For the last two years, Daina’s beautiful calendars have been the sacred space where I have jotted notes about Ada’s development – like how she stood up on her own on April 2, 2013, and said “oh dear!” on August 3.
Over the past few years, Daina and her partner have been working towards taking a year to go on a massive road trip across Canada and down the west coast to Panama, living out of a van and painting, photographing, filming, and writing about the world around them. It’s a dream come true and it takes dedication and creativity to make it happen.
Daina is doing an Indigogo campaign from now until December 15th, where you can spend anywhere from $10 – $2500 on original art, prints, calendars, Christmas ornaments, art lessons and more to support her on her journey. If you a) love her art; b) love art in general; c) like to help other people live out their dreams; d) love the beauty of the ocean; e) need to buy an awesome present for an awesome person; f) haven’t got a 2014 calendar yet; g) are stuck staring at the grey fabric walls of your cubicle dreaming of ways to fund a year-long road trip but aren’t ready to make it happen yet but want to contribute to the karma pool in the hopes that one day you will; h) are quite delighted with this lasagna, with this blog, or hell, with me….then you should make a contribution to Daina’s campaign.
And, in the meantime, enjoy this winter-minded casserole, which is not, I have to say, a road trip to Panama, but comes a relatively close second.
- 1 butternut squash
- 12 slices prosciutto, chopped
- 3/4 cup soft goat cheese
- 3 cups kale, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 package lasagna noodles
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- 8 tbsp. butter
- 8 tbsp. flour
- 2-3 cups milk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Remove the skin and seeds from the squash, and cut into cubes. Dump into a large baking dish, toss in a glug of olive oil, and cover with tin foil. Bake until the squash is very tender. Allow to cool, and then mash thoroughly with a fork.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Add 2 cups of the milk gradually, continuing to stir over medium heat to avoid lumps. Add the garlic. Cook the sauce, stirring consistently, until it thickens. You may find you need to add more milk here to control the consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then remove from heat.
- In a medium saute pan, saute onions and prosciutto in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the onions are tender and translucent, add the kale and cook until wilted.
- In a medium pot of boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles until just softened, but not yet edible. Drain.
- To assemble the lasagna, spread a layer of the garlic cream sauce on the bottom of a 8X8 baking dish. Place a layer of pasta over this, and then over the pasta spread a layer of butternut squash puree dobbed with goat cheese. Add more pasta, and then spread over that the prosciutto and kale mixture. Add sauce to this layer as well. More pasta, another layer of squash and goat cheese, and then more pasta. Top with the last of the sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly.