Butternut and sweet potato lasagne with sage, toasted pine nuts and nutmeg
I love getting new cookery books, and the latest addition to my collection is Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Fast, Fresh and Easy Food’. I saw her TV show when we got back from honeymoon and really liked the recipes, and when I flicked through the book in the shop this recipe caught my eye. I couldn’t wait to start cooking (and blogging) again, and this seemed like a great recipe to start with! You could easily make this on a week night for a super tasty treat. I used half a squash and a sweet potato for this but it wasn’t quite enough, so next time I’ll use a whole squash and 2 sweet potatoes.
50g parmesan cheese
50g dried natural breadcrumbs (I whizzed up a a thick doorstop slice of bread instead)
600g prepared sweet potato and butternut squash (peel and cut into evenly sized chunks)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
12 sage leaves
12 lasagne sheets
100g pine nuts, toasted
75g baby spinach leaves
For the white sauce
100g parmesan cheese
2cm piece fresh ginger
600g ricotta cheese
2 medium egg yolks
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
For the salad
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of English mustard powder (optional)
1 bag wild rocket
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7. Put the kettle on to boil for the vegetables.
2. Finely grate the parmesan for the topping, toss in a small bowl with the breadcrumbs and set aside.
3. Tip the prepared sweet potato and butternut squash into a large pan, add a little salt and then pour the boiling water over to cover. Put the lid on, bring back to the boil and then leave to bubble away for 15-20 minutes until tender.
4. Fill the kettle again and boil. Prepare the herbs by removing the leaves from the the stems of the rosemary. Roughly chop them with the sage leaves and set aside in a small bowl.
5. Pour the boiling water into a pan, add a drizzle of oil, slip in the lasagne sheets and leave to cook for 5 minutes (this is important as there isn’t a lot of liquid in the rest of the mixture to cook them in the oven).
6. As the lasagne cooks, prepare the sauce. Finely grate the parmesan and peel and grate the ginger. Place both in a medium bowl, add the ricotta, egg yolks and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine and set aside.
7. Drain the lasagne sheets and tip them back into the pan. Drizzle a little more oil and gently toss the about to coat, so that the sheets don’t stick together.
8. Check that the vegetables are tender. Drain them off well and tip them back into the pan. Mash them with a masher until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste.
9. Now assemble the lasagne in the baking dish, set on a baking tray. Spread a third of the vegetable mash in the base of the dish. Next, scatter a third of the herbs, pine nuts and spinach leaves over. Then arrange 4 lasagne sheets on top, cutting to fit if necessary. Spread a third of the ricotta mixture over.
10. Repeat twice more, and finally sprinkle the parmesan breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
11. While that is cooking, prepare the salad dressing by simply mixing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder (if using) and seasoning together in a small bowl.
12. When cooked, serve the lasagne with a handful of rocket drizzled with the dressing. Enjoy!
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