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Chicken and pumpkin lasagne

Lasagne is a family favourite in homes across the world. With its rich layers of sauce and velvety pasta with a generous creamy cheesy top and it's easy to see why.

lasagne729

Ingredients

500g chicken mince

150g bacon, chopped, short cut is leanest

1 brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon mixed herbs

2 bay leaves

2-3 sprigs fresh oregano, stems discarded

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1½  cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

cracked pepper

 

360g lasagne sheets

300g butternut pumpkin, sliced in 5mm slices

 

For the bèchemel sauce:

50g butter

3 tablespoons plain flour

3½ cups milk

200g ricotta

1 bay leaf

A pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper

200g grated cheese

Method

Lasagne is a family favourite in homes across the world. With its rich layers of sauce and velvety pasta with a generous creamy cheesy top and it's easy to see why.

There are many variations on the lasagne theme with some recipes using a slow cooked ragout, or even vegetarian, but we're using lean chicken mince and pumpkin in our super delicious, and healthy version version.

Cook onions on a medium heat in a little olive oil until they are translucent. Add chopped bacon and cook until lovely and fragrant.

Toss in garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Add chicken mince and cook, stirring, until browned off and completely cooked through. Break up lumps as much as you can.

Pop your grateful carrot and herbs into the mix and then toss in the tinned tomatoes.

Chuck in the stock, bay leaves and tomato paste and season well with pepper. Let sauce cook out for a while before adding salt as the bacon and stock may leave it salty enough. I don't find it needs it.

Bring to simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes before reducing heat and popping the lid on for a further 20 minutes.

While this cooks make your cheese sauce. Melt your butter in a saucepan. add flour and stir together until it's bubbly. You need to cook the flour or your sauce tastes like raw flour.

Add milk and whisk together to ensure there are no lumps. Chuck in bay leaf and nutmeg, season lightly, and then crumble in the ricotta, whisking out any lumps.

Cook for about 5 minutes until it's thickened slightly.

Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 200C

In a large, deep baking tray, place one big ladle of the sauce (try to get lots of liquid) and spread it around the base of your tray.

Add one layer of lasagne sheets. Top with half of your remaining sauce mixture, and top with another layer of lasagne.

Next, place a layer of pumpkin on the pasta, before topping with another layer or lasagne.

Add the rest of your sauce mix, add a layer of pasta and finish your masterpiece off with your cheese sauce. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top and pop into the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve with salad of your choice.

Main ingredient:
Chicken, Pumpkin
Course:
Main-course
Occasion:
Family meals

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