3poundssummer squash, sliced 1/4" thick, (about 12 medium zucchini)
12ouncesfresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1cupbasil pesto (recipe below)
16ouncesmozzarella, thinly sliced
12ouncesfresh pasta sheets (preferably spinach) cut to fit in a single layer if necessary; enough for 4 layers of pasta)
Covie's Basil Pesto
4cupspacked fresh basil leaves
1cup(up to) olive oil
1cupfreshly grated parmesan cheese
1-2teaspoonssalt (to taste)
Roast the squash:
Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 450º. Divide the sliced squash between two oiled sheet pans. Toss with the olive oil and salt, then arrange in a single layer (the squash may overlap a bit, but will lose volume as it bakes). Roast the squash, rotating once halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown in places, about 25 - 30 minutes. Let cool until handle-able.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Mix up the cheese:
Meanwhile, place the goat cheese in a medium bowl, and gradually add in the milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper.
Assemble the lasagna:
Lightly oil a 9x13" pyrex baking dish.
Lay a single layer of pasta sheets in the pan, cut to fit if necessary.
Spread the pasta with 1/4 cup of pesto.
Arrange 1/3 of the roasted squash over the pesto in a single layer.
Dollop 1/3 of the goat cheese mixture over the squash and spread evenly.
Lay 1/4 of the mozzarella over the goat cheese.
Arrange another layer of pasta sheets over the mozzarella, and make 2 more layers just like the first (pasta, pesto, squash, goat cheese, mozzarella), for a total of 3 layers.
Add a fourth layer of pasta sheets over the mozzarella, and spread with the remaining 1/4 cup of pesto. Reserve the remaining 1/4 of mozzarella.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the lasagna at 350ºF until bubbling and the pasta is tender and browned around the edges, about 45 minutes.
Turn the oven to broil.
Remove the foil, lay the remaining mozzarella over the top, and place under the broiler (watch carefully!) for a minute or two to melt and brown the cheese.
Let the lasagna rest for 5-10 minutes, then cut and serve. The lasagna keeps well, refrigerated, for up to several days; reheat before serving.
Covie's Basil Pesto
Optionally blanch the basil in boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge into an ice bath. When cool, squeeze out all the water. (Or leave the basil fresh - see headnote.) Place the basil, blanched or not, in a food processor with the pine nuts and garlic, and puree until fairly smooth, adding some of the olive oil if you need to help the mixture blend. Add the cheese and enough of the olive oil to make a thick paste, then season to taste with the salt.
If storing the pesto, place it in a jar and cover with a thin layer of olive oil (this will help prevent it from oxidizinand place in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to several months.
If you are super badass (or just have a lot of time on your hands) feel free to make your own spinach pasta sheets. If you're at the opposite end of that spectrum (the time one, that is), use store-bought fresh pasta and/or pesto (Cibo makes a good version). If you can't find fresh pasta sheets, I'd wager that typical boiled noodles would do the trick. (No-boil noodles might require more liquid than this recipe contains, though.)I'm guessing that a good-quality ricotta and some extra grated parmesan could stand in for the goat cheese here, and that other roasted vegetables, such as eggplant or bell peppers, would be tasty additions to the summer squash.Covie's Basil Pesto This recipe comes from a friend's late mother; I think she got the proportions just right. If making pesto to store for a longer period of time, you can blanch and shock the basil first before blending it with the remaining ingredients; it takes a bit more work, but you end up with a bright green spread that stays this way for up to a week in the fridge, and longer in the freezer. Covie says you can add up to 6 tablespoons of butter; I've never tried it, but perhaps I will next time. You will end up with more pesto than you need for the above recipe; toss it with pasta for a quick lunch, spread it on a sandwich or dollop it over a frittata.Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.