This is by far my favorite lasagna recipe. It has an amazing white sauce mixed in with the meat sauce that just puts it over the top. The butternut squash also adds a refreshing change to this classic dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
4 slices of thick bacon
• 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
• 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
• 2 14oz cans 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 cilantro seeds, bashed
• 1 dried red chili, bashed
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 14oz fresh lasagne sheets *
• 14oz mozzarella, torn up
for the white sauce
• 1 pint crème fraîche
• 3 anchovies, finely chopped
• 2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
optional: a little milk
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 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 canned 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 cilantro seeds and chili. Place on a baking sheet 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 400ºF. To assemble the lasagne, rub an earthenware lasagne dish with olive oil, lay some sheets of lasagne over the bottom and drape them over the sides. 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, or until golden.
*Note: Jamie uses fresh pasta, and while I think that is wonderful, I usually make this with your run-of-the-mill boxed pasta sheets. If you make it the night before, you don’t even have to boil the pasta…just let it sit in the pan with all the other layered goodies and they will soften naturally.