Mothers’ Day is here again and as my culinary adventuring all stems from my Mum’s kitchen, I usually like to make her something she’ll appreciate.
I have also been wanting to test out a butternut squash lasagna idea that’s been forming of late, so it seemed the ideal opportunity!
Ok my first dilemma was whether to go exclusively for squash and ricotta which was the original plan, but with the addition of my Dad and boyfriend joining I felt I might need to add some meat in to the equation. Dilemma number two was whether or not to make my own pasta sheets…I opted against, I know I could have done it, but less time rolling out meant more time with my Mum (which is what Mothers’ Day is all about after all!).
(the following feeds 8 easily)
- 2 butternut squash
- 1/ 2 roast chicken
- 200g spinach (n.b. you could definitely add more spinach I would say this ended up being a bit on the stingy side)
- 1 pot ricotta
- 2 balls mozzarella
- 2 pints milk
- 300ml double cream
- Flour (about a handful)
- 2 bay leaves
- 25 lasagna sheets
- Halve and de-seed your squash, lightly season and oil/butter. Roast until soft and the skin slightly charred. (around an hour, I did it the night before when I roasted the chicken).
- Add the milk to a saucepan, with a knob of butter, a handful of flour, a pinch of salt and pepper and bay leaves. Turn on a medium heat and whisk while simmering to thicken. (it will coat the back of a spoon). Take of the heat and leave to cool.
- Shred the chicken
- Wilt the spinach and mix with chicken, set aside.
- Once your squash is cooked and cooled enough to handle, you can peel off the skin (it should be quite easy, but don’t worry about a bit of skin it is quite soft at thus point and won’t hurt anyone). Mash with a fork and mix in the ricotta. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Get a pan of hot water and start adding your pasta sheets, a few at a time to soften slightly.
- Stir the double cream into your cool white sauce.
- In a large baking dish cover the base with white sauce and a layer of pasta.
- Spread half the squash mix over this, some mozzarella and a ladleful of white sauce.
- Add another layer of pasta, half the chicken and spinch mix, mozzarella and white sauce again.
- Repeat 9 and 10 again.
- Top with a final layer of pasta the last of the mozzarella and the remaining white sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and you’re ready to bake!
- Pop in the oven, at around 200c for 1 hour. ( I did read once that it’s best to let your lasagna sit before baking, for a couple of hours, and I layered mine in the morning before going out for the day -but I don’t know that it’s overly necessary).
I served mine with garlicky, buttery broccoli and steamed asparagus.
I was very happy with the outcome, the squash was sweet and filling, and to be honest the chicken was pretty unnecessary except for pleasing carnivores. I think I will definitely remake without chicken and with more spinach.
Let me know what you think, sacrilege or scrummy?
What did you have this Mothers’ Day?