Last nights meal was one of those times. We had such a lovely butternut harvest that I wanted to make it the centre of a dish. Combined with all the beautiful ripe and juicy tomatoes we have managed to grow despite the blight that hit most of the plants, it was time to make a special meal.
I used Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's roast tomato sauce which simply involved halving 2 kilograms of ripe tomatoes, adding some garden herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, marjoram and oregano), drizzling with olive oil, salt and pepper and adding 8 peeled garlic clove.
While these roasted away until soft, and blackened a little around the edges, I put one of our whole butternuts to roast in the bottom of the oven.
I popped out to the garden to collect a big bundle of spinach which is still growing from what I planted back in Autumn 2013. By picking the outside leaves these giving plants continue to grow and grow. The tend to go to seed in summer, but we have had such a mild one so far that they are still producing loads of leaves. The leaves were washed, and then lightly fried with 2 red onions then left to sit with the heat off.
Back to the kitchen 1hr later and the oven roasted veg are done. I tipped the tomatoes into my food processor and whizzed it all together, herbs, garlic and all. I placed a layer of this in the bottom of the oven dish, then a layer of lasagne sheets.
Next came the spinach and a layer of crumbled feta and a fine grating of nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Then another layer of lasagne.
Next up was the butternut which I had scraped from the skin and mashed with some butter and salt.
I drizzled some more of the tomato sauce on this then added a final layer of lasagne, loads more sauce and a good grating of Parmesan and Mozzarella.
This was then returned to the oven and baked for 40 minutes until it was bubbling. The tastes of this meal were phenomenal and the butternut was only second to the rich fragrant tomato sauce.