Now let me start of this recipe by being honest: this meal is a lot of effort. Sure, it will feed two easily for two nights, but in the spirit of honesty, it would probably be less effort to cook both nights than one night making this. I’ve made this twice now, and both times:
a) I’ve cut myself on the mandoline
b) OK, I may have had an alcoholic beverage both times before starting
c) I find myself wondering why I even suggested making this about 10 minutes in
d) While eating it, I contemplate if perhaps, just perhaps, it was worth the effort.
I got the recipe from Primal Cravings, but I find the meat and tomato sauce bits scandalously short so I’ve upped it from the book quantities in the ingredient list below.
Ingredients (easily serves four once, or two on two nights)
750g beef mince
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fennel
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
120g or 1 whole pepper in oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium butternut squash
150g Mozzarella (optional)
Before you start:
– Put some decent music/radio on, or get the help in, because you’ll be prepping for some time.
– Preheat the oven to 400F/Gas mark 6
1. Prepare the sausage mix and add to a heated pan: the mince, onion, 3 garlic cloves and the dried spices/herbs. The mince should release enough moisture that you don’t need any oil. Add any seasoning to taste and cook until lightly browned. Set aside when cooked if you’re still prepping other ingredients – you’ll heat it again in the oven shortly.
2. Prepare the sauce: blend or blitz the sauce ingredients along with as much salt and pepper as you like. You can probably vary this a bit with herbs and add (or substitute) fresh tomatoes as you like.
3. The squash: The Primal Cravings book instructs you to chop off the bulb part of the squash and mandoline the shaft so you get longish slices like lasagna. Personally, I don’t think it really matters if you don’t have long slices – you can just make a patchwork lasagne covering on each layer, and as it’ll all be covered with tomato sauce, what’s the difference? It may even be easier to cut! So with whatever part of the squash you’re using, peel and finely slices (ideally mandoline) it. You want your slices to be about af a centimetre thick – if that.
4. Well done, you’re onto the home stretch! Layer your lasagne ovenproof dish with tomato sauce, squash, mince until you use up all your ingredients. Make sure you finish with tomato sauce then layer on the mozzarella if using – you’ll need to be fairly reserved to have enough to mostly cover the top. Obviously it’ll spread out a little as it cooks, so don’t worry if you have some gaps.
5. Cook for about 50 minutes – check on it after 30 to see how it’s getting on. I served this with a green salad although I’m sure anything else you usually have with your lasagne would go with this.
I’d love to know if you’ve tried this and think this is worth the effort – and also if anyone knows an easy way to peel squash please let me know!