Having some lean beef mince and a butternut squash to be used, I decided to create this pasta-free lasagne recipe. It’s also my WordPress anniversary today, hurray! So I gift you all this lovely creation as a celebration 🙂
Packed full of flavour, this lasagne is layered with slices of butternut squash between a mince sauce packed with sage, a deliciously cheesy and creamy white sauce speckled with nutmeg, and a sprinkling of pine nuts to finish.
This started off as a bit of a “let’s hope this works!” but turned out amazingly! I hope you enjoy it…
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
- 1 medium to large butternut squash
- Pine nuts (two handfuls)
- 1 x 400g pack of lean beef mince
- 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 x red onions
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on how big your cloves are and how garlicky you like it!)
- 2 x tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 x glass of red wine
- 2-3 tps of dried sage, or a small bunch of chopped fresh sage
- Salt and pepper
- 85g butter
- 85g plain flour
- 750ml semi-skimmed milk
- Grated cheddar cheese, a couple of big handfuls
- 1 heaped tsp grated nutmeg
The first big job to do is tackle the peeling of the butternut squash! I find it easiest to cut in half first before peeling or simply cutting off the skins with a sharp knife. Once all the skin is removed, cut into thin slices.
After this it’s time to make the mince sauce. Brown off the mince in a large saucepan and then add the chopped garlic and onions to give them a bit of colour, and then add the red wine, tomatoes, tomato puree and let it simmer away and reduce for about 10-15 minutes. Add the seasoning and the sage to taste, simmer for a few more minutes before taking off the heat and setting to one side.
Now you can make your lovely cheesy white sauce infused with nutmeg! Gently melt the butter in a pan and once melted whisk in the flour, then once combined, slowly pour in the milk whilst constantly whisking to get rid of any lumps. Keep whisking until you feel it thicken to a good consistency, then add the cheese and nutmeg and whisk until fully combined. Take off the heat.
It’s now my favourite (and definitely the most fun!) part, it’s layering time!
Get a nice big dish, I opted for a nice heart shaped one, and start your layers! Firstly a layer of the mince sauce, followed by the butternut squash and topped with the cheesy white sauce. Repeat until you run out, ending with a white sauce layer. Top this final layer with some more grated cheese and the pine nuts for a lovely finish!
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 40-50 minutes until bubbling and browned on top, then dig in! 😀