Parky's Top Table – Mary Berry's Butternut squash & spinach lasagne
In the first of the series, legendary talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson meets much-loved cook Mary Berry, who shows him how to make an easy meat-free lasagne.
Recipe - Serves: 4
For the butternut squash and spinach lasagne:
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 3–4cm chunks
2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced
2tbsp olive oil
250g button chestnut mushrooms, sliced thickly
250g spinach, washed
About 6 large dried lasagne sheets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tomato sauce:
400ml tomato passata
3tbsp red pesto
For the cheese sauce:
75g plain flour
600ml hot milk
2tsp dijon mustard
200g Gruyère cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. You will need a shallow 2-litre (3½-pint) shallow baking dish. Place the squash and onions in a roasting tin, mix with the oil, season then roast for about 30 minutes until tender. (When you pierce the squash with a knife it should go through easily, but you don’t want the squash to be mushy.) Add the mushrooms for the last 10 minutes.
2. Put the spinach in a colander in the sink, and pour over a kettle of boiling water until the spinach has wilted. Allow to drain, then press out as much of the water as you can.
3. For the tomato sauce, mix the tomato passata with the pesto.
4. Immerse the lasagne sheets in boiling water for 5 minutes until softened.
5. For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a small pan then beat in the flour. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. Add the mustard and about three quarters of the cheese and continue to stir gently until the cheese has melted. Season well.
6. To assemble the lasagne, put a third of the roasted vegetables into the bottom of your ovenproof dish followed by a layer of spinach then a third of the tomato sauce and a third of the cheese sauce. Lay lasagne sheets on top of this. Top with half of the remaining vegetables, tomato sauce and cheese sauce. Add the last lasagne sheets and top with the remaining vegetables, tomato sauce and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top.
7. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until the lasagne is golden and bubbling on top.