lasagna

No I do not have a Jamie Oliver obsession, thank you very much!  Ooooook, so maybe I do–but that’s just because he’s an amazing chef that’s dedicated to teaching, backyard farming, and a simple life.  Well, once again he outdoes any level of creativity that I could have mustered up and adds butternut squash to lasagna.  It’s really a nice take off of the traditional version.  You can also find this on his site here. I’ve only added a few ammendments.

4 strips smoked bacon, finely sliced
a pinch of cinnamon
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 handfuls of fresh herbs (sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme)
olive oil
400g shin of beef or stewing beef, minced coarsely *
200g pork belly, skin removed, minced *
30 oz tin of good-quality plum tomatoes
2 glasses of red wine or water
2 bay leaves
1 butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, bashed
1 dried red chilli, bashed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh lasagne sheets
400g mozzarella, torn up for the white sauce
500ml tub of crème fraîche (or sour cream)
3 anchovies, finely chopped (seriously keep these baby’s in the recipe, they just add tang)
2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
optional: a little milk

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. In a large casserole-type pan slowly fry the pancetta and cinnamon until golden, then add the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix together, then add the beef and pork. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes and the wine or water. Add the bay leaves and bring to the boil. Then get some greaseproof paper, wet it and place it on top of the pan with a lid placed on top as well. Then place in the preheated oven for 2 hours or simmer on the hob over a gentle heat for around an hour and a half. Rub your butternut squash slices with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the bashed-up coriander seeds and chilli. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking the sauce. When the sauce is done, season to taste and put to one side. Mix together your crème fraîche, anchovies, and a handful of Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. You may need to loosen the mixture with a little milk.

Turn the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. To assemble the lasagna, rub an earthenware lasagna dish with olive oil, lay some sheets of lasagna over the bottom and drape them over the sides (see pages 10–11). Add a layer of meat, a little white sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Break the butternut squash into pieces and use this as one layer, then repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of pasta covered in white sauce. Tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle with some extra Parmesan. Cook in the preheated oven for 30–35 minutes until golden.

*I just used a mixture of ground turkey and ground pork

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