Lasagne is always a good idea for dinner. I always make two while I’m making one, it’s not much extra work and then there’s one in the freezer for a rainy day. This version is an autumn/winter favourite. Layers of roasted squash and garlic, spinach and pumpkin seed pesto, pasta sheets and plant based béchamel. Delicious!
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 kg squash, cubed
- 1 bulb of garlic, minus 1 clove
- 6 sage leaves
- olive oil, salt and pepper
Spinach & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Layer:
- 400g spinach, wilted
- 150g pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1 clove of garlic, saved from the bulb above
- the juice of half a lemon
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 10g nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper
Plant Based Béchamel Layer:
- 150g plain flour
- 20g nutritional yeast
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 litre oat milk
- salt and pepper
- 250g lasagne sheets
- extra sage leaves to decorate
- Turn the oven on to 200C and cut a kg of winter squash (like kuri or butternut) into cubes, tumble them into a large baking tray. Peel a whole bulb of garlic and add the cloves to the dish, but put one aside for the pesto.
- Toss the squash and garlic with 6 torn sage leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper then pop the dish in the oven to bake until soft. Meanwhile prepare the pesto and béchamel.
- Put the spinach in a colander and pour over hot water to wilt the leaves. Squeeze the water out of the wilted spinach and put the bright, green lump in a food processor. Add the pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Blend into a rough sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper. Blend again briefly to bring the pesto together. Then make the béchamel.
- In a cold pot, whisk the flour, nutritional yeast, mustard, nutmeg, olive oil and oat milk together. Then put the pot on a medium heat and whisk and cook until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Season well with salt and pepper then put to one side and check on the roasting squash and garlic.
- When the squash and garlic is cooked though, mash it roughly, leaving some texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, then it is time to assemble the lasagne.
- In a deep baking dish, add a 1/2 cm layer of the squash purée. Add a layer of pasta sheets, then a couple of ladles of the béchamel. Spread two or three heaped tbsp of spinach pesto over the béchamel, don’t worry if it mixes in. Then repeat until you’ve used all the ingredients. Squash, pasta, béchamel, pesto… Ensure you finish up with a thick layer of béchamel.
- Decorate the top of the lasagne with some fresh sage leaves then pop it into the oven to bake until bubbling. After about 20-30 minutes, the pasta should be cooked through and the top should be golden. Test with a small sharp knife. Then cut and serve with a side salad or steamed greens.