December 18, 2004

Butternut Squash Lasagne

Searching the BBC food website for vegetarian recipes, I came across this Pumpkin Lasagne. As butternut squash has been something of a favourite at Casa Uborka lately, I thought I’d customise it ever so slightly; purchased ingredients and headed into a practice run for tonight’s veggie dinner party.

The recipe turned out to be the biggest load of nonsense I have ever read. I was about to email the BBC, lambasting them for publishing a recipe that has obviously never been tested, when I noticed that there was a second version of it, with an amended ingredients list, attributed to the tellytubbyesque Anthony Worrall-Thompson.

Unfortunately, the ridiculous cooking instructions haven’t changed. Anyway, by the time I discovered the updated recipe, I had already created my own, which I give to you here.

90ml/3fl oz extra virgin olive oil
600g/3lb 2¼oz butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced nb. half a butternut squash is about 400g.
250g/9oz fresh ricotta cheese
paprika to taste
fresh ground black pepper

For the béchamel sauce:
55g/2oz butter
55g/2oz plain flour
350ml/10 ½fl oz milk
1 egg
25g/2oz grated cheddar cheese

250g/8 ¾oz green lasagne pasta
25g/1oz Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Put the olive oil in a large pan and cook the diced squashfor 25-30 minutes or more on a very low heat. Stir frequently and keep covered. The pumpkin is ready when it is completely tender.
  2. Season squash with plenty of paprika and ground black pepper
  3. Add the ricotta cheese while it’s still on the heat. Stir well then remove from the heat. Cover and allow to stand.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  5. To make béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan without letting it fry, add the flour little by little, stirring regularly to avoid lumps.
    When the flour has evenly absorbed the butter, continue to stir and let it cook.
    Add the milk a little at a time until a smooth, thick and creamy sauce is obtained. Season.
  6. In a large ovenproof dish, spread a thin layer of sauce, then arrange a layer of lasagne pasta. Cover with a layer of squash mixture, pasta again, another layer of sauce, more squash mixture and finish with a layer of lasagne pasta.
  7. Add the beaten egg, the grated cheese, and about two tablespoons of water to the sauce, and return the pan to the heat, stirring continuously for about a minute.
  8. Pour this mixture over the lasagne, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, and serve with a sharp rocket salad to contrast with the creamy butternut squash.
  10. Of course, we haven’t eaten it yet, so it might be shite. I’ll let you know.

    The lasagne looked a little dry when it came out of the oven, but in fact was most edible, and my only complaint would be that it was slightly bland. I think something sharper needs to be added to the filling, or alternatively you could put the butternut squash mixture in one layer, and spinach in the other.

    Meanwhile, my apple and raspberry crumblets were the star of the show.


7 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Lasagne

  1. I’m sure it’s fab.
    I use butternut and sweet potatoe in my curries and they come out fab.

  2. *removes erroneous e from Adrian’s comment*
    I love butternut squash. Topper makes a fantastic soup with it, topped with toasted buttery sweetcorn. It is the most delicious soup ever. I think I shall just have to drop a butternut-squash-lasagne-type hint and see what happens. I’m sure he’ll know how to ‘un-bland’ it.
    I don’t know what apple and raspberry crumblets are, but they sound delicious!

  3. Sounds rather nice actually. Nice one. Been wondering what to do with the squash I bought last week. Getting bored of squash fajitas now 🙂

  4. Squash fajitas sound rather nice. Butternut squash also makes fantastic risotto, and the best recipe I’ve used it for BY FAR was bacon, squash and feta cheese with pasta.
    I feel that it’s slightly wasted on soup – a bit too subtle. It’s also fabulous mashed with potato, served with sausages and gravy.
    Waitrose has the best of the butternut squash recipes.

  5. Waitrose has the best recipes for just about anything. I also have, lurking somewhere, a pumpkin and squash cookbook by the venerable Mr Upton of Slindon. He’s about 900 years old and knows more about squashes and pumpkins than just about anyone else alive.

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