A lot of vegetarian lasagnas are either cheesy/cream-sauce-based or tomato-sauce-based. Both are nice, but don’t you sometimes find yourself thinking you are missing out on the other? The creamy sauce can feel a bit too rich and the tomato sauce a bit too, well, tomatoey. But why can’t you have a bit of both? That’s what I decided to do with this squash and eggplant lasagna and it really is deliciously comforting with the best of both styles.
So as you might have figured out, I decided to make two quite different fillings, one with a tomato-based sauce and the other a creamy cheese sauce. The vegetables with each work perfectly in the sauces – eggplant/aubergine is a perfect match to a tomato sauce as is roasted squash in the cheese sauce. The two also go really nicely together, as you’ll see when you take a nice forkful of everything as it starts to mingle on your plate.
I know the thought of making two fillings might seem a bit daunting or crazy, but it’s really not that much more work than any other lasagna, if it’s even more at all, as you might often make a cheese sauce anyway. And really, you are just adding some roast vegetables to simple sauces and piling it all together, so while the cooking time is long, a lot of that is roasting time and not too much actual work. You can also, as with most lasagnas, make it ahead up to the last cooking and keep it refrigerated overnight until you are ready.
I have roasted the eggplant in the oven to cut down on the need to do too much preparation ie cooking it in a pan instead, plus it uses a lot less oil. The result is still tasty and it soaks up the tomato sauce nicely.
I know this isn’t necessarily the sort of meal you make every day between the number of dishes used and the time it takes, but it really is worth making now and again. Sometimes you can almost taste the little extra bit of effort that goes in a dish (I think I might have said that before – but it’s true!) and this is one of them. Plus, the leftovers can be pretty good as well which is always a bonus. All in all, this is comfort food through and through, and delicious with it.
Squash and eggplant lasagna
- 1 lb butternut squash 500g, approx 410g peeled and seeded weight
- 2 eggplant or 1 large aubergine, approx 600-630g
- 1/2 onion large
- 14 oz finely chopped tomatoes 400g
- 1 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk 240ml
- 1/2 cup Jarlesberg 500g, grated
- 5 sheets lasagna pasta 4-6 depending on your dish no pre-cook lasagna sheets
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella 1 ball, approx
- 1/4 cup parmesan 10g, grated
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C
- Dice the squash and eggplant into fairly small cubes - around 1/2in/ 1cm. Dice the onion.
- Roast squash in one dish and eggplant/aubergine and onion in another, drizzling both with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, for around 30mins.
- When the vegetables are almost done, make the sauces. Warm the chopped tomatoes in a pan over a medium heat along with the basil, oil and sugar. Cook for a minute or two then set aside.
- In another pan, melt the butter and once starting to bubble, add the flour. Cook for a couple minutes until starting to go nutty.
- Reduce the heat and add the milk a little at a time. Once all added and smooth, add the Jarlesberg and stir in so that it melts. Set aside.
- Once cooked, add the eggplant/aubergine to the tomato sauce and the squash to the cheese sauce.
- Start layering up the lasagna - place half the eggplant/aubergine mixture in first, add a layer of pasta, then the squash mixture followed by another layer of pasta and finally the rest of the eggplant/aubergine.
- Break up the mozzarella and dot over the top and then sprinkle over the parmesan.
- When ready, bake in the oven for approx 40 mins until gently golden on the top.