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SQUASH AND FENNEL LASAGNA

July 12, 2014

I’ve written before of my love for the recipes in the River Cottage Veg book. It’s my book of choice for anything veggie and used on a very regular basis since I worked my way through it! There are sticky notes marking the favourites and sticky marks where it’s been splodged on.

My only learning curve with it is on quantities. We don’t eat huge quantities but certainly if, like last night, my son is joining us for supper I’ve learnt to add more to the pasta, rice etc in the portions.

So with this recipe I add another layer of lasagna and I also add a tomato sauce to the fennel layer.

You can make this well in advance so it’s a great one to put together in the morning before you go out and return to pop in the oven for supper in the evening.

INGREDIENTS

1kg squash
1 tsp crushed garlic
thyme
3 large bulbs fennel
150g goats cheese
lasagne sheets
20g parmesan

1 litre whole milk
1 bay leaf
1 onion
1 celery stalk
a few peppercorns
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
2 tsp dijon mustard

500ml Tomato sauce (I gently cook crushed garlic in a glug of oil, add 2 tins chopped tomatoes and squash that down with the back of a spoon and simmer until thickened – I add chopped basil to this to top pizza etc but don’t add basil for this recipe)

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. For the béchamel heat the milk with the bayleaf, onion, celery and peppercorns until just below simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.

2. Peel and de-seed the squash and cut into cubes. Toss with 4tbsp oil in a roasting dish. Season and then roast for 40 minutes until tender. When done toss immediately with the garlic and thyme and set aside.

Cube the squash

Cube the squash

3. Trim the fennel, removing the tough outer layer, then cut into 5mm slices. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and add the fennel and gently sauté until tender. Set aside.

4. Gently reheat the infused milk, then strain. Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Cook gently for a minute or two. Take off the heat and add the milk steadily while beating until smooth. I use a small whisk to prevent lumps. Return to the heat and cook, stirring often and allowing it to bubble gently until thickened. Stir in the mustard and season.

5. Spread a third of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of a dish. Mine is 30x25cm. Layer lasagne sheets on top, then the roast squash on top of that. Another layer of sauce, then lasagne, then fennel. Then tomato sauce. Scatter the crumbled goats cheese over the fennel and tomato.

6. Cover with a final layer of lasagna and spoon on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and add a trickle of oil.

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan

7. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Squash and fennel lasagna

Squash and fennel lasagna

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