Anyone who follows our Instagram account knows that we’ve recently become obsessed with pasta making.
It began with hand rolling our egg noodles for ice fishing chicken noodle soup and intensified at a recent dinner party when we got to play with our friend’s KitchenAid pasta roller attachments. We immediately purchased our own set and cannot. stop. making. PASTA… for soup, for sauce, or just for fun.
We debated long and hard about what kind of pasta roller to get. The traditionalists in us longed to get our hands dirty with an industrial-grade hand crank mechanism. But the pragmatists in us knew that we would appreciate the ease of an automated KitchenAid attachment.
So after reading a few too many online forums, we decided on the KitchenAid—too many chefs [traditionalists and pragmatists alike] claimed that it was simply worth the investment. That given the choice, the KitchenAid made them want to make pasta more often than the hand crank.
And so the forums were right.
We’ve done our fair share of experiments since, attempting to perfect our egg noodles and exploring zany alternatives to the standard lasagna. One of our favorites was a delicious combination of pumpkin tomato sauce and eggplant:
But this weekend’s newest concoction has to take the cake. Light on the sauce, but heavy on the flavor, this Butternut Squash and Brie Lasagna is the epitome of all things homemade. Homemade cheese, homemade pasta, homemade stuffing… it’s a beast of labor to be sure and our most difficult recipe yet. But it is worth every bite.
It was an accidental idea. A week ago, Jason mentioned he saw a recipe I might like: Butternut Squash and Brie Lasagna. I immediately jumped on board and purchased the squash and brie during my next grocery store run. But when it came time to reference the recipe, it turned out to be a heavy, goat cheese based lasagna that leaned more toward the cream than the vegetables. Somehow, this cheese man had confused goat cheese and brie!
No matter though. We simply made up what we originally envisioned the recipe to look like, adding in maybe a few too many steps but loving the result of our hard work. Here’s the long-form version of our process. We’re positive there was perhaps an easier way to do it, but we didn’t mind the day in the kitchen together.
Butternut Squash + Brie Lasagna
- Ricotta [homemade or store bought]
Butternut squash mixture:
- 2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cubed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- Kosher salt
- 11-1/4 oz. [about 2-1/2 cups] unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
- 16 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- One bunch spinach
- 1 Tbs. butter
- Salt & pepper
- 28-oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried minced garlic
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
- Make your ricotta. [Hint: Chop your butternut squash mixture ingredients while the milk is warming on the stove.] Set whey aside for later.
- Once ricotta is in the process of draining, divide veggies between two roasting pans and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 40-minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Next, make the pasta dough. In a food processor, pulse together eggs, salt, and about ¼ c. flour to make a liquid-y dough. Add flour by ½ c., scraping down the sides after each addition. If the dough forms a large ball, break up the ball into pieces and keep adding flour. The dough is ready when tiny fragments begin to form [and fly].
- Roll dough fragments together into one large ball. Place on counter, cover with clean kitchen towel, and let set for no less than 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, place sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on low until ready to use.
- In a large skillet, cook mushrooms and spinach in butter until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide dough into six equal portions and generously dust with flour. Flatten and shape each piece into ½-inch thick rectangles and pass each through the widest setting on the pasta machine, reducing the space between rollers and flouring after each pass until pasta is about 1/16-inch thick. Arrange pieces on clean kitchen towels [no scented fabric softener!] or parchment paper, layering as needed to avoid dough touching. [Don’t worry about the look of it—you’ll be able to cut and shape as needed when assembling.]
- Bring whey to a low boil. Cook each piece of pasta individually for 5-10 seconds and spread flat on the towel-lined baking sheet. Layer the noodles between clean towels and set aside until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna. [We actually opted to boil as we layered the lasagna, which is also an option.]
- Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13x3-inch baking dish. Cover the sauce with cooked noodles, cutting as needed to fill the gaps.
- Top with squash, mushrooms, brie, ricotta, and sauce and cover with more noodles. There won’t be any defined layers, just a Pollock-like pile of ingredients.
- Repeat the layers to make a total of four squash layers. [We ran out of pasta so instead of covering the final squash layer with noodles, we opted for breadcrumbs. It worked out perfectly!]
- Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. [For an extra boost of color, feel free to put under broiler for about 5 minutes afterwards.]
- Cool about 10 minutes before serving.
You can make veggies up to a day before assembling, or you can make the entire thing up to two days ahead of baking it. Just wrap the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate and let come to room temperature before baking.
Consider us the KitchenAid past attachment spokespeople of the year!