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no matter what the road block in life, a great recipe can get you back to the bright side

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Butternut Squash and Cavalo Negro (Black Kale) Lasagna

Nom nom nom, this sounds interesting! 

I've been neglecting my blog for some time now and I realised, 'Hey! I'm unemployed, I really have no real reason to neglect it now do I??'

Although I couldn't find black kale so I just used the curly green stuff. Kale is sort of like a cross between spinach and cabbage....sort of.  I also substituted regular lasagne sheets for green (spinach) ones for that extra bit of fun! (picture below in case you're confused!)

I some how doubt it was made in Italy, maybe the box was.....

serves 8 - 10

14 cooked lasagna noodles (this will depend on your dish, i needed 16)
4 cups (or so) butternut squash, cubed
1 med bunch Cavalo Negro (about 3 cups chopped)
1 lg onion, diced
2 lg cloves of garlic, minced (I used 4, I like garlic)
1 rib celery, chopped
oil for sauteeing
salt to taste
dash of Worcestershire Sauce (I didn't have any....so I didn't use any and it was still tasty)

4 1/3 cups warm milk
6 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp nutmeg
1 veggie bouillion cube (I didn't have any veg so I used beef, still yum)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard powder (again, didn't have any so I mortar and pestled some mustard seeds)
dash of pepper sauce (optional) 

1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 cup old cheddar (or other sharp cheese), shredded
1 cup parmesan

Before going into the cooking bit, of course you need to prep everything. Here are some fun prepping pictures, plus proof of my love hate relationship with my awesome sharp knife.

my lovely le creuset, i've yet to make enough of anything to fill it more than half way, it's huge. I love it.

Chopped squash

This is me getting mad at my knife. While try to peel the squash (which is never easy to do I might add) the sneaky squash tried to get away from the knife and through my fingers in the firing line. Yes, I cut the tip of both my fingers, no not pleasant. But, I had a mission to complete. So I washed the knife, I washed my fingers, bandaged them and then proceeded to cover them in cling film to keep them clean and dry. This lasagne better be good. 

Sunny Curly Kale

Mustard Seed

1) Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot (or a very large caste iron skillet - my choice).  Add in some oil and saute the onion, squash and celery.  Turn the veggies gently, letting the squash get browned - kinda like squash hash browns.  

2) After about 7 minutes add in the garlic and the black kale.  Continue to turn gently until the kale is wilted and the squash is browned but soft inside.  Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste.  Set aside.

The product of stage 1. 

3) Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan to medium heat.  Have the warm milk ready.
Add the butter to the saucepan and stir until it melts - it will probably bubble a little bit.

4) Once the butter is melted completely add in the flour and mix well.  Once the mixture is smooth gradually add in the warm milk.  Stir continuously while adding.
Turn the heat down to just below medium.

5) Once all the milk is added continue to whisk until it begins to thicken a bit.

6) Add in the bouillion, nutmeg, mustard powder, salt and pepper sauce (optional).
Once the mixture has thickened (not too much though - if it gets too thick then add a little more milk) remove from heat and set aside.

The product of stage 2. (Yes I spilled some of the milk, no I did not cry over it)

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Get a lasagna pan ready by putting a little bit of liquid on the very bottom 
Line the bottom with a layer of cooked noodles.
Next, spoon about 1/3-1/4 of the bechamel mixture on top of that.
Next, sprinkle about 1/3-1/4 of the veggies on top of that.
Next, sprinkle about 1/3-1/4 of each of the cheeses on top of that.

Continue to alternate each layer until you've got about 3-4 layers.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top.

Remove from oven and set aside for about 20 minutes before cutting. I couldn't wait.....we dug in pretty quickly.

We ate this with a couple slices of walnut loaf! YUM!



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