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franklin county times

Cook up some comfort food as cooler temperature set in

When the temperatures start to get in the ’50s, I think of food – but that’s what I do most of the time, think of food. I think about how to cook better, or I mull over something new someone has told me about.

I love going to cafés and trying to taste the herbs they have cooked with or determine the seasoning of the meat. Proper seasoning is crucial. Soups, sometimes, are practically taste-free if you do not put meat or herbs to spice them up.

It is getting to be football time, with chili and soups and – of course – all the wonderful dips you have for snacks for the game.

But if you need something a little more dinner-table worthy, try this take on a lasagna.

Roasted Butternut Squash–Garlic Lasagna

3 pounds butternut squash

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons minced garlic

¼ cup flour

1 quart milk

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup whipping cream

8 ounce package of no-boil lasagna noodles, 12-14 noodles

1 1/3 cups finely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a 10×15 baking pan with foil

Cut a 1-inch piece from the squash neck, then peel the squash and halve crosswise. Thinly slice each half. Halve the remaining squash halves with oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Roast squash, cut sides down in prepared pan until golden and easily pierced with a knife, 45-50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, then scoop flesh into a food processor and process until smooth.

Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, about three minutes. Whisk in milk until smooth.

Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, until slightly thick, about 10 minutes.

Stir in pureed squash pepper and remaining teaspoon salt.

Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Beat cream in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Pour butternut sauce into prepared baking dish and arrange four noodles on top in a single layer. Spread half of remaining sauce over noodles and sprinkle with ½ cup parmesan.

Add another layer of four noodles, then spread on whipped cream, covering completely. Top with remaining slices and sprinkle with remain ¼ cup parmesan. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 15 minutes more or until top is bubbly and golden brown. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.