From the red carpet to the kitchen, first-time cookbook author Sarah Michelle Gellar shows how to dress up familiar dishes in creative ways that make them fun for the whole family to prepare (and eat!)
Makes 12 muffin-size lasagnas
- • kosher salt
- • olive oil
- • ½ (1-lb) package lasagna noodles
- • 2 cups cubed (¼-inch) butternut squash
- • black pepper
- • 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise into half-moons
- • 3 zucchini, thinly sliced crosswise
For the sauce
- • 3 cups milk
- • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- • ½ tsp minced garlic
- • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- • ½ tsp kosher salt
- • ¼ tsp black pepper
- • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add a splash of olive oil. Oil a baking sheet. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 2 minutes less than directed on the package.
- Drain and transfer the noodles to the oiled baking sheet, making sure they don’t stick together.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the zucchini and eggplant slices on a second baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the zucchini and eggplant until soft, about 15 minutes.
- Roast the squash for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the squash to a bowl and mash with a fork. Set all the vegetables aside.
To make the sauce
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat, 6 to 8 minutes. In a small skillet, melt the butter with the minced garlic. Add the flour to the butter, whisk to blend and cook until the mixture bubbles and turns a light golden brown.
- Ladle in about ½ cup of the hot milk, whisking continuously. Add one more ladle of the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to the saucepan with the remainder of the milk, add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, and whisk thoroughly to blend. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
To assemble the lasagna
- Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut a total of 48 circles out of the lasagna noodles.
- Brush a muffin tin with olive oil and place a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of each cup, then top with a noodle.
- Add a thin layer of mashed squash, then a layer of zucchini and eggplant and sprinkle with Parmesan. Top with more sauce and another noodle.
- Repeat the layers, then top with one more noodle, more sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella.
- Bake until the cheese is brown and bubbling, about 25 minutes.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the cups by running a sharp knife around the rims to loosen.
She’ll always be known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Cruel Intentions – among other memorable screen projects. But lately Sarah has made a name for herself in food circles. In 2015, she co-founded Foodstirs, a line of organic quick-scratch baking kits. And now the mom of two, 39, has launched her first cookbook, Stirring Up Fun with Food (due April 4). In it, she shares her love of “food crafting” – using mason jars, muffin tins and even toothpicks to serve meals. Hello! caught up with Sarah to talk food, kids and movie nights. – CHRIS DANIELS