Winter lasagne a winner

Photo by Simon Lambert.
Photo by Simon Lambert.

Pasta, comforting winter veges combined with a creamy, cheesy sauce has to be a winter winner.

 

Winter lasagne
Serves 4-8

Sauce

35g plain flour
40g butter
570ml milk
1 bay leaf
fresh nutmeg
1 cup grated cheese, I use up all my bits in the fridge
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Filling

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1 leek, sliced thinly
½ onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and roughly
½ chopped cabbage (Savoy), thickly sliced
350g butternut squash, peeled and sliced
350g swede, peeled and cut into slices
70g fresh parmesan cheese, grated
300g fresh lasagne sheets 

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 190degC.

Begin by making the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, add the flour and stir well to combine, cook out for a couple of minutes then slowly add the milk. Whisk to remove any lumps if they occur, and continue adding the milk until finished, stirring all the time. Remove the whisk now and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the bay leaf and cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring as often as possible. Season lightly and add a few good gratings of nutmeg. Now on to the vegetables. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on to a baking sheet, add the sliced butternut and swede, season lightly and drizzle with a little oil. Roast until tender (15min).

Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat a medium to large heavy-based frypan over moderate heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. When melted add the leeks, onion, garlic and thyme. Cook without colouring until tender and sweet (5min-8min).

Add the cabbage and combine with the leek and onion mixture, adding 1-2 tablespoons water so the cabbage wilts a little. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble: mix ⅔  of the sauce with the leek and cabbage mixture.

Lightly grease the base and sides of a deep oven dish (20x30cm).

Lay enough lasagne sheets neatly to cover the base, spoon over the leek sauce making sure you have enough for another two layers. Layer now with some of the roasted butternut and swede and continue with another two layers of pasta, sauce and roasted vegetables, finishing with pasta. Spoon over the remaining white sauce and cover with grated parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 30min-50min, depending on the number of layers and depth of the dish. Test the centre of the lasagne with a skewer or small knife. If you find it tough to get through then the pasta needs a little more cooking.

When ready, serve with plenty of parmesan and a simple crunchy green salad.

- Allison Lambert 

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