Monday, 25 November 2013

Butternut squash and mushroom lasagne


After a lull in the kitchen over the past month or so, I was back with a bang this weekend.
I began on Friday night, with a butternut squash and mushroom lasagna from last week’s Irish Times. As usual, there were two recipes in the paper, and I’d made the roast chicken all-in-one during the week (for the record, it’s very simple and good. I’d add a bit more herbs and/or spices next time).
I bought two butternut squash last week (I got the two for €4.16). I’d never prepared them before and sweet janey mac, I gave up after about 30 mins. I even YouTubed videos of what to do. It all looks so easy! I got the cylindrical bits off and peeled no problem (I sliced off the skin with a very sharp knife), but it was another story when it came to the bulbous end. I used a vegetable peeler, which removed the thick skin but left the kind of paler tough inner layer – are you supposed to peel them twice??? And what about the hairy bit that holds the seeds – how do you get the hairs out without scraping the edible flesh away too??? It’s a minefield.
In the end, I put all the pieces, peeled and unpeeled, into two roasting dishes and covered them liberally with olive oil and seasoning before roasting them in the oven at 190° for 30 minutes. The flesh was then a lot easier to scoop away from the skin.
I used one of the squash to make this Mary Berry soup for the weekend.
The second squash went into the butternut squash and mushroom lasagne.

Butternut squash lasange

Ingredients
·     1 butternut squash, peeled, diced and seeds removed
·     olive oil
·     salt and pepper
·     bacon – about a packet, so 10 slices of the ones you get in Belgian supermarkets
·     500g button mushrooms, sliced
·     4 cloves of garlic, crushed
·     2 balls of mozzarella
·     1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
·     6 lasagne sheets
·     chopped parsley to serve
While the squash were in the oven, I made the rest of the lasagne.
First off, I cooked the bacon in a frying pan until it was crispy. Cook the sliced mushrooms in the same pan in the residual bacon grease with the crushed garlic. It will all cook down. I cooked this for about 5 minutes before adding the tin of tomatoes and a stock cube. Heat all of this until its bubbling and cook like this for about 10-15 minutes until some of the tomato juice evaporates.
Mushrooms for the lasagne

Once the squash is cooked and de-skinned, mash it a bit so there are no big lumps.
To assemble the lasagne, place half the soft squash at the bottom of the dish and then cover with half the lasagne sheets. Pour the mushrooms and tomatoes over this. I forgot to add the bacon but if you are adding this, this is the moment to do so. Add another layer of lasagne sheets and the rest of the squash and the chopped mozzarella. Bake this in the oven for 30-40 minutes, at 190°.

We got three dinners from this and we had enough for a light lunch with soup on Saturday.
a close up of the butternut lasagne

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