Butternut squash lasagna
Butternut squash is in season right now and is one of my favourite veg with good reason – it’s high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and chock full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, E and B1, 3, 6 and 9, plus magnesium, potassium and manganese.
Lasagna is one of the great comfort foods. You can make this much better for you without losing any taste by swapping the regular lasagna pasta sheets for thinly sliced butternut squash. It’s still got the same delicious cheesy sauce and is both low carb and gluten free.
300g Tomato sauce (if you want to make your own, check out the recipe below. For speed, you could opt for a herby passata, from supermarkets)
400g thinly sliced butternut squash (buy this ready-done from supermarkets or use a mandolin to slice your own)
1tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil
700g minced meat (beef or pork)
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
500g ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
230g grated mozzarella
45g grated parmesan
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
If you’re cutting the butternut squash yourself, use a mandolin to cut to about 1/4cm thick.
Put the oil or ghee in a large non-stick pan and add the minced meat, cooking for 5-7 mins, stirring frequently.
Add half the tomato sauce and the dried oregano. Season with half the salt and pepper.
Next make the cheesy ricotta layer by mixing the ricotta, eggs, and chopped fresh herbs. Season with the remaining salt and another grind of pepper.
Spread the rest of the tomato sauce on the bottom of your dish (choose one about 26 x 7cms). Add a layer of butternut squash (you’ll have three butternut squash layers in total).
Spread half the mince mixture on the top followed by half the ricotta mix on top of that.
Add a second butternut squash layer followed by the remaining mince and the remaining ricotta mix.
Top with the last later of butternut squash then add the grated mozzarella followed by the parmesan cheese.
Cover your dish with foil and bake in the oven for 45 mins.
Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins until golden brown.
The sauce can be frozen if you make in batches and keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. It’s a great base for sauces of all kinds.
150g chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
A handful of fresh basil
2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot or small white onion
60g tomato paste
60ml olive oil
A generous pinch of salt
A good grind of black pepper
Roughly chop the onions and garlic then add to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients.
Whizz to a smooth consistency.