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Yesterday I decided I wanted squash and sausage lasagna, but I couldn’t find a recipe I liked. Emeril’s had twenty four ingredients. That’s, like, 14 ingredients too many. The Kitchn had a good one, but the instructions were so involved it would have taken days just to finish measuring out the layers. (“Add another layer of noodles, a fourth of the bechamel, half the sausage, half the squash, and another third of the mozzarella. Add a third layer of noodles, a fourth of the bechamel, the second half of the spinach, the second half of the sausage, the second half of the squash, and the final third of the mozzarella…”) Troublingly, Giada’s called for crumbled cookies. Girl has clearly flipped. Someone go check on her.

I was simultaneously annoyed, and amazed at how many squash and sausage recipes there are. Like, I didn’t know that was a thing. Seems like a weirdly specific filling for lasagna. Anyway, I eventually gave up and made my own. This lasagna is both sweet and savory, with a delicate herb flavoring that will keep you coming back for more. Feel free to add stuff like spinach or ricotta – this recipe is forgiving!

For the filling:
1 butternut squash
3 or 4 large Italian sausages
1 apple, peeled and chopped
For the sauce:
2 cups milk
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh herbs, chopped (chef’s choice)
And also:
1 package lasagna noodles (1 lb)
Shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook the squash. Halve and clean the squash, then lay it in a pan of water, cut-side down. Cook for 1 hour at 400F, until squishy.
2. Brown the filling. Chop up the sausage, or pull it from its casing, and brown. Add the apple chunks, and cook until soft. Mix in the squash. This is your filling.
3. Make the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, then toss in the flour. Whisk until it’s a bit brown. Stir in the milk, a little at a time, and cook until slightly thickened. Add the garlic and herbs.
4. Prep the noodles. Cook the noodles in boiling water, until al dente. Drain. Remember not to leave them in a congealing heap, like I did, or you will have a bit of trouble getting them unstuck.
5. Avengers… assemble! Ladle out some sauce into your baking tray, then lay out noodles to cover the bottom. Spoon out a layer of squash filling, then sprinkle with cheese. Continue layering until your pan is full. Remember to finish with a layer of cheese, so we can toast the top!
6. Bake. Cover the pan with foil, then bake for 45 minutes at 375F. Remove the foil, and cook a little longer to brown the top. It’s done when you can hear it bubbling and sizzling.

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