Cheesy roasted squash lasagne with spinach and walnut pesto

Cheesy roasted squash lasagne with spinach and walnut pesto

I’m actually kind of loving autumn so far this year – it’s never been my favourite season (far from it), but I don’t think I’ve ever realised before just how good the food is! I’m totally taking advantage of it this year and making a ridiculous amount the three Ss – soups, stews and things involving squash. Today we have cheesy roasted squash lasagne – layer upon layer of autumnal goodness.

(by the way, ask me what I think about autumn again in a month’s time when it’s bitterly cold and raining every day. I can’t help but think I might feel differently)

Cheesy roasted squash lasagne with spinach and walnut pesto

Some people seem to think that the butternut squash is the poor man’s pumpkin, but no! It’s the best! It’s much easier to deal with than a huge pumpkin, you don’t end up eating it for two weeks straight to get through it all, and when it’s simply roasted in some oil with a bit of s + p, it’s absolutely divine. Add a creamy béchamel sauce, a simple pesto made from spinach and walnuts, some sheets of lasagne and a crispy cheesy topping, and you’ll be happy until December.

Cheesy roasted squash lasagne with spinach and walnut pesto

Cheesy roasted squash lasagne with spinach and walnut pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main meal
Yield: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 fairly large butternut squash (if you're buying the flesh pre-­cut, you'll need about 500g)
  • 2tbsp oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 35g walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 40g spinach
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml milk
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 120g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 150g no-boil lasagne sheets
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
  2. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1cm dice. Toss it with a little cooking oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay it out in a single layer on a baking tray, and roast for 30-40 minutes, until soft and just beginning to crisp up on the edges.
  3. While the squash is roasting, place the walnuts, garlic and spinach in a food processor, and blitz until a coarse paste is formed. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and process again to combine. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and, over a low heat, add the flour. Whisk continually for a minute or two to cook the flour, then add the milk around 50ml at a time, continuing to whisk. Wait until each portion of milk is well combined and the mixture is smooth before adding the next amount. When you have used all the milk and the mixture has created a smooth sauce that has thickened slightly, season and add a pinch of nutmeg and just over half of the grated cheese (around 70g). Remove from the heat, and stir for one more minute until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth again.
  5. When the squash is cooked, transfer it to a bowl and mash coarsely with a fork. Alternatively, if you would like your squash purée to be really smooth, you could blitz it in your food processor.
  6. Turn the oven down to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F). It's now time to layer up your lasagne. Start with a spoonful or two of the cheese sauce, and spread it across the bottom of a baking dish (mine measures 10 x 6 inches) - you only need a very thin layer to stop the pasta from sticking. Add a layer of lasagne sheets (just break them up to fit your dish). From now on, it doesn't really matter what order you layer things up, but I made mine in this order:
  7. - half of the squash mixture (spread it around with a fork)
  8. - a layer of lasagne
  9. - ½ of the remaining cheese sauce (spread it around to cover the edges of the pasta sheets)
  10. - ½ of the spinach pesto (just dot it around the sauce)
  11. - a layer of lasagne
  12. - the remaining squash
  13. - the remaining spinach pesto (again, just dot it around)
  14. - a layer of lasagne
  15. - the remaining cheese sauce (again, make sure all of the pasta is covered - if you can, spread the sauce out enough that it touches the edge of the dish)
  16. - the remaining grated cheese (you should have about 50g left for this)
  17. I also like to add a little more black pepper on top.
  18. Bake the lasagne, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and the pasta is soft. If you find the cheese is browning too quickly, cover the dish with foil and continue to cook until the pasta is soft. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

 

Comments

  1. says

    What a beautiful lasagna full of so many wonderful seasonal flavors for autumn. Like you, it’s not my favorite season (actually my favorite is spring!), but the season is more delightful with a cheesy lasagna such as this. What a beautiful blog you have too, Becca! So glad to now follow you along!
    Roz recently posted…Cheesy Asiago Artichoke & Spinach DipMy Profile

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