A lasagne with wow factor. The secret ingredient is butternut squash. Prepare the dish the day before if you can, so the lasagne sheets have time to soften in the sauce. Serve with salad and crusty bread.
1 tbsp olive oil
225g (8oz) butternut squash (peeled weight), chopped into small
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded, and diced
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
225g (8oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g (31/2oz) spinach, chopped
6–8 sheets lasagne
For the white sauce
75g (21/2oz) butter
75g (21/2oz) plain flour
900ml (11/2 pints) hot milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
100g (31/2oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
250g (9oz) mozzarella, chopped into small cubes
The lasagne can be made up to the end of step 3 up to 2 days ahead. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan. Add the squash, pepper, onion, and garlic and fry over a moderate heat for 4–5 minutes or until the onion is starting to soften. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, thyme, and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat for 20–30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and toss together until just wilted.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and stir over the heat for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until the sauce is smooth and thick. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the mustard and half the Gruyère.
Spoon one-third of the tomato sauce over the base of the ovenproof dish, then spoon one-third of the white sauce on top. Arrange a single layer of lasagne over the white sauce and scatter over half the mozzarella. Spoon half the remaining tomato sauce on top, followed by half the remaining white sauce. Arrange another layer of lasagne on top and scatter over the remaining mozzarella. Spread the rest of the tomato sauce on top, followed by the rest of the white sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère.
Transfer to the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight so the lasagne starts to soften.
To serve, preheat the oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan/400˚F/Gas 6), then bake the lasagne for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling around the edges.
Recipe take from Cook Up A Feast by Mary Berry and Lucy Young, DK £20, available from all good bookshops and from www.dk.com