Squash, Fennel and Taleggio Lasagne (8)

A new recipe from Diana Henry.

Squash, Fennel and Taleggio Lasagne (8)
Print Recipe
Squash, Fennel and Taleggio Lasagne (8)
Print Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.Halve the squash or pumpkin. Peel, deseed, then cut into 2cm-thick slices. Toss with the oil in a roasting tin, season, then roast for up to 40 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, for the tomato sauce, add the onion and oil to a pan and soften for 10 minutes. Add the celery and garlic.
  3. Cook for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and sugar, plus seasoning and 75ml water. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick purée.
  4. Cover the spinach in a saucepan and wilt over a medium heat for 5 minutes, turning it over with tongs. When completely wilted, leave until cool enough to handle, then squeeze the water out with your hands.
  5. Chop and heat in a pan with the butter, tossing to coat, then season with salt, pepper and a very generous grating of nutmeg.
  6. Trim the fennel (reserve any fronds), cut the bulbs into quarters and remove tough or discoloured outer layers. Remove the core at the base of each, keeping the quarter intact, then cut the fennel into ½cm-thick slices. Place in gently boiling water and cook until only just tender. Drain really well and season.
  7. For the béchamel, bring the milk to the boil in a pan with the peppercorns, onion and bay leaf. Set aside for 30-40 minutes to infuse, then strain into a jug.
  8. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour for 2 minutes over a low heat. Remove from the heat. Gradually add the milk, beating well, adding more only when smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring, until thick. Reduce the heat and cook for 4 minutes, then season well, with more of the nutmeg too.
  9. Assemble in a buttered 23x30x7cm gratin tin or baking dish. Start with a layer of pumpkin and fennel followed by a layer of tomato sauce (add any fennel fronds, chopped). Lay lasagne sheets on top of this, cutting them to fit to prevent overlapping. Add a layer of béchamel sauce, followed by a scattering of spinach and half of both cheeses.
  10. Top with more lasagne sheets, pumpkin, fennel, tomato sauce; more lasagne, the rest of the Taleggio and a final layer of béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
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