A winning combination of flavour, texture and colour—perfect for family gatherings
600g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
500g mixed mushrooms (a good selection of chestnut, portobello etc)
65g unsalted butter
A handful of flat leaf parsley
1 lemon, juice and zest
300g pancetta cubes
700ml full fat milk
50g ‘00’ flour
150g fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed
75g parmesan, freshly grated
8 sheets of freshly made lasagne pasta, or 12 sheets of dried
Preheat the oven to 200C. Toss the squash in half the olive oil and the thyme, then roast on a tray for 30 mins, or until tender—this will alter from squash to squash and its sugar content.
Fry the mushrooms in the remaining oil with 15g unsalted butter, a generous handful of flat leaf parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest. Season well and leave to cool. Fry the pancetta until golden and mix with the mushrooms.
Make the cheese sauce by warming the milk in a pan. In a separate medium pan, melt the remaining 50g butter and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 min, stirring all the while, then take off the heat. Pour in a third of the warm milk and beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add another third of the milk and keep beating well. Pour in the rest of the milk and add the cheese and keep beating until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Now to assemble—in a 20cm x 28cm ovenproof dish, add a quarter of the sauce, a layer of lasagne pasta, followed by a third of the squash, mozzarella and mushrooms. Repeat twice more, with a final layer of sauce and extra parmesan if required. Bake for 30 mins, until golden and bubbling.
Recipe: Ursula Ferrigno