Hello darlings! Chef Tess here, visiting again from the beautiful Honeyville test kitchen in Arizona!  Welcome to Fall…and in Arizona that means welcome to finally being able to wear a long sleeve shirt without falling over dead from the heat.  Fall also means that I start to really miss the crunch of falling leaves and the amber sprays of glory on all the trees. We don’t see leaves change color. We have to buy our colored leaves at craft-stores. It is so sad. However, we do get the grand and glorious array of squash and pumpkins.

I’ve been visiting with some of our local farmers and we’re so blessed to have these little lovely gems! At my house we’ve found a new way to cook up a one piece lasagna confection that uses the squash as the oracle of joy. Each mini-pumpkin half only uses one lasagna noodle so it is a great way to get the satisfaction of a lasagna without all the extra starch of a lot of pasta.  The secret is using oven-ready lasagna noodles.  The prep-time is cut down a lot by using those. Plus the noodles are never over-cooked and mushy.

Chef Tess Lasagna Stuffed Baked Squash or Pumpkin
3 Pie Pumpkin or medium Acron Squash, cut in half and seeded
1 Tbsp Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 box Oven-Ready (one noodle per squash) Lasagna Noodles

Meat Sauce:
2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Sausage
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Onion
1 cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Mushrooms
2 cloves Garlic, minced fine
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds, crushed
1 cup Honeyville Tomato Powder
2 tsp Chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasoning or Italian herb blend
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 cups Water

Cheese Filling:
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
1 cup low fat Ricotta
1/4 cup Honeyville Ova Easy Egg Crystal
1/4 tsp Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

Cheese Topping:
2 cups Honeyville Mozzarella Cheese (hydrated)
1 cup Parmesan Cheese

Instructions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Drizzle the inside of the  seeded pumpkin with  the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Break each of the lasagna noodles into 3 pieces, big enough to fit into the cavity of the pumpkin or squash. 

Combine all the cheese filling ingredients. Top the dry noodle with 1-2 T of the cheese mixture.

Combine all the ingredients for the meat sauce and hydrate about 10 minutes.  Top the cheese layer with another broken lasagna noodle. Add about 1/4 cup of sauce on top of the noodle. Top the sauce mixture with another broken noodle.

Repeat the layers until your squash is filled with lasagna layers.

Finish by topping each with sauce.

Sprinkle Generously with parmesan cheese and Italian spices.

Lightly tent the pan with aluminum foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until squash is tender.  The noodles will cook perfectly.

We made some with a few other squash varieties. I was surprised how many worked perfectly to use as a cavity for lasagna baking delightfulness.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Acorn Squash Lasagna

During the last 10 minutes of baking, hydrate the mozzarella cheese. Remove pan from the oven. Top each squash with about 1/2 cup of hydrated cheese.  Return to the oven to melt the cheese, about 5 minutes more. 

There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess