Noodle-Free Lasagna

February 20, 2012
By:  Maria
The word Lasagna evokes an image of layer-after-layer full of melted cheese oozing between noodles. Everyone enjoys a hearty dish of lasagna – right?
What we don’t enjoy, are the after-effects brought on by cheese and the insulin load created by the noodles.  Our guts experience bloating – from very mild to loosening-of-the-belt uncomfortable – leaving us wondering why did I eat that??
I’m here to give you some good news; you can make and enjoy a tasty lasagna that will leave you satisfied but will be devoid of those uncomfortable side effects.
Replacing the noodles with nutrient dense butternut squash is genius!  If you’ve never tried it, I encourage you to do so – it’s delicious!  Your taste buds will be hit with sweet, tangy and mildly salty flavors all rolled into one bite.
1lb of your favorite hot or mild sausage (preferably nitrite/nitrate free)
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 15 oz tomato sauce (season with your favorite spices)
1 cup roasted red peppers (you can purchase these in a jar or roast your own)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
a few fresh basil leaves
1 butternut squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease the inside of 12 muffin cups or a baking pan (I like to use muffin cups for individual sized portions, especially for the little kiddos in the household)
Saute sausage, onion and garlic until browned.
Meanwhile, cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Cut in half lengthwise and cut those two in half width-wise (as shown in photo).  Spoon out seeds.  Don’t worry about getting every little string out – it won’t matter once it’s baked.  Slice the squash into small slices that will fit in a muffin cup.
Make the sauce by pureeing the tomato sauce, red peppers, olive oil and basil in a food processor or immersion blender.
Pour just enough sauce into each of the muffin cups to lightly cover bottom.  
Next add the squash
Top with some sausage mixture, followed by the sauce.  Repeat until all ingredients are used – reserve enough sauce to cover top of lasagna.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is bubbly and crispy. Let it set for about 10 minutes before digging in to eat so it will solidify.

squash  photo courtesy of k.lineberger

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