Basil bechamel sauce adds extra freshness and fragrance to this ultimate vegetarian comfort food.
- 1 butternut squash (pumpkin), peeled and sliced
- olive oil, for roasting
- salt, to season
- 4 cups fresh ricotta
- ⅓ cup pecorino romano, grated
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups mozzarella, grated
- 6 fresh lasagna sheets, trimmed
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 cups fresh spinach
Basil cream sauce
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup basil, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat oven to 205°C (400°F).
2. Arrange pieces of butternut squash on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tender. Let cool.
3. Add ricotta and pecorino romano to a mixing bowl. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
4. To make the basil cream sauce, melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and stir. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook on medium-low for a few minutes, stirring, then add milk, whisking to combine. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add basil to pan. Cook until mixture starts to thicken.
5. Place fresh lasagna sheets in a single layer on the bottom of a greased baking dish or lasagna pan.
6. Place butternut squash pieces on top. Top with ricotta mixture. Add a layer of fresh baby spinach. Spoon over basil cream mixture. Add a layer of fresh lasagna sheets. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
7. Top with grated mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
8. Remove foil and continue to bake a further 30 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbling.