Autumn Lasagna (Butternut Sqash & Spinach)

I made the lasagna for about 20 people at work today, so you will have to pare the quantities down. Dish is quite work-intensive and money-intensive, but I people have asked me for the recipe – so here it is & as usual open to modification!

1 packet of green, 1 packet of white lasagna sheets
cheddar, grated

2 butternut squashes
chopped walnuts

2 tubs of ricotta
4 bags of spinach

For the tomato sauce:
onions
garlic
about half a celery, chopped
about 4 carrots, chopped
850g can of tomato puree (double concentrate)
fresh basil (or dried herbs)
olive oil
(you can also add courgettes to the mix)

For the bechamel sauce:
2 pints of milk
big scoop of butter
flour
blue cheese
nutmeg, pepper, salt

First of all, cut each squash in half, take out the seeds (keep them). Bake the halves (fleshy side down) on a baking tray until soft. You can paste the insides with (olive) oil before baking if you like. On a separate tray, toast the cleaned seeds with a bit of salt (and oil if you like).

Tomato Sauce: Sautee chopped onions and crushed or chopped garlic. Add chopped carrots and celery. After about 10 mins add about 2 pints of water (add more if necessary). Simmer until vegetable are soft. Add tomato puree and basil and blend the whole thing with a hand-blender. Season to taste.

Put a bit of tomato sauce into one tray. Empty a bag of spinach on top of it, put it into the oven until the spinach is soft and beginning to flatten down. Take the tray out and add some ricotta, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Close this layer with green lasagna sheets.

Scoop the flesh out of the squashes. Put it into the next layer along with a bit of tomato sauce and a handful of chopped walnuts. Close the layer with green lasagna sheets.

Put some tomato sauce on top of the lasagna sheets again and add another bag of spinach. ‘Flatten’ it again by placing it into the oven for a bit and repeat same steps as with previous spinach layer. Close with white lasagna sheets.

Heat butter in a pot. Stir in some flour. Brown it a bit and slowly start adding milk, stirring vigorously with a whisk. When you have a thick sauce, add bits of blue cheese (it will melt into the sauce). Season to taste.

Pour the blue cheese sauce on top of the layer of white lasagna sheets. Top the whole thing with grated cheese, chopped walnuts and some toasted pumpkin seeds. Put tray in the oven for about an hour. Repeat with second tray.

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