Meat Free March - Lemon Butternut Lasagne Recipe

Monday, 1 March 2010  |  Admin

Lemon Butternut Squash Lasagne
OK, I know March doesn't officially start until tomorrow but it falls within the same shopping week at our house, so this is the first of our 'Meat-free March' recipes.
This Lemon Butternut Lasagne recipe is adapted from The Kitchen Revolution, and makes enough for 2 lasagne, each feeding 4 people generously. The second one freezes well, simply defrost and cook as per the original lasagne.
Although the recipe states that prep for this takes 30 mins, and 30 mins cooking, I found it took me much longer to prep, more like an hour including washing up. And believe me, it makes a LOT of washing up. All in all, this isn't a mid-week supper but is perfect if you're entertaining as you can prepare it all well in advance and then just pop in the oven.

2 medium butternut lasagne approx 1.6kg

1.6kg leeks

2 lemons

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs sage (I couldn't get any fresh, so used 2 tsps dried)

375g mozzarella

170g parmesan

75g pine nuts

2 tbsp olive oil

20 g butter

500g ricotta

300g mascarpone or creme fraiche

a little milk

10 sheets lasagne (approx 300g)

salt and pepper
Peel, deseed and cut the squash into 1cm slicesCook in your biggest saucepan in boiling, salted water for 3 minsWash and finely slice the leeksAfter 3 mins add the leeks to the squash and cook for a further 6 - 8 mins, until the leeks are soft and squash is collapsingPreheat your oven to 200c / 400f/ Gas Mark 6While leeks are cooking, zest both lemons and juice one of them. Strip the thyme leaves and sage leaves and chop the sage leaves if using. Roughly grate the mozzarella and finely grate the parmesan. If the pine nuts aren't already toasted, toast them in a pan, or in the oven briefly - watch them carefully, they burn easily!When the leeks and squash is cooked, drain them well, then toss the leek and squash mixture with the butter,oil and herbs. Season well. Add the lemon juice and zest, mozzarella & 1/3 of the parmesan.Cook your lasagne sheets as per packet instructions, refresh with cold water and set aside.Next make your ricotta mixture. Combine the ricotta, mascarpone and a little milk if necessary to get to dropping consistency. Stir in another 1/3 of the parmesan.Now you can assemble the lasagne. Put a quarter of the squash / leek mix in the bottom of each lasagne dish. Sprinkle with pine nuts, and add a layer of your cooked lasagne sheets. Then add a layer of your ricotta mixture. Repeat once more, finishing with a layer of ricotta on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 of the parmesan to finish.Set one lasagne aside to cool, put the other in the oven for 30 mins until the top is golden and a knife in the centre meets no resistance. Serve with spinach or other green veg.
Apologies that I don't have a 'cooked' pic for you, but realised after we'd finished eating that I didn't have the card in the camera, doh.
The Verdict?
I loved this as did my H. My lovely 15 month old really enjoyed it, my no1 son evetually ate it, but pronounced it 'disgusting' (he is 5 years old and anything aside from chips and fish fingers is 'disgusting' at the mo). No 2 son point blank refused to touch it. But - the majority of us liked it so it's a winner!

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