de Vos: Kind of you to understand
February 23, 2012
My wife and I talk things over a lot. For instance, the other day I said, “Say, I noticed there was a big, ugly squash in the bottom of the fridge that had turned all orange, so I pitched it.””Keep your hands off my squash.””How’s that fair?” I said, “Things being equal in marriage and all, why don’t we both agree to keep our hands off the squash until it turns orange and then we’ll pitch it?”A long silence ensued. Meanwhile the indoor temperature continued turning cooler to partly cloudy. I feigned remorse, “You are a splendid cook. I just know you’re planning some fantastic meal.”I got a dubious look in return. My efforts earned a grudging, “Well, thanks.””Yes,” I said, “I’m sure it’ll be some incredible meal, looking like it sprang bubbling from the cover of Martha Felony Stewart ‘s magazine. And then, just like MFS, you’re going to mess it all up by hiding squash under the noodles.” I turned back to the newspaper but I felt strangely uncomfortable with a peculiar dread and an overwhelming sense of foreboding. A horrid shadow cast over my paper and I whirled … (Editor’s note: Jon de Vos’ column ends abruptly here and we conclude with the following guest commentary)Hello, everyone. I’m a bit nervous because I’ve never written in a newspaper before. Anyway, I’m Frances, the long-suffering wife of Jon de Vos. I know how Grand County feels about domestic violence so I won’t describe the scene right before this one. However, it would explain why I’m sitting in front of this keyboard and you’re getting my Squash Lasagna recipe instead of the usual drivel he churns out.Butternut Squash LasagnaServes 10Heat oven to 375 δεγρεεσ.1 large butternut squash, cooked and mashed1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese3/4 cup heavy cream2 eggs1/2 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, gratedNutmeg, salt, pepper 3 Tablespoons butter1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves1 1/4 cups chicken brothLasagna noodles, cooked per package instructionsFresh grated parmesan cheeseOptional: carmelized onions, mushrooms; crumbled & cooked breakfast sausageCombine ricotta, cream, eggs, mozzarella, dash of nutmeg in bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.Melt butter in small pan and saut sage until light gold and slightly crisp (3-4 minutes).Add butter-sage mixture and broth to mashed squash, season with salt & pepper.Place layer of noodles in lasagna pan coated with food spray, top with layers of: squash, sausage/onion/mushrooms (if using), ricotta, and continue layering until all is used, ending with ricotta. Sprinkle parmesan over top and bake until golden and bubbling, about 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.And friends, in a final note, let me thank each and every one of you for your kind support and understanding all these years.