with wholewheat lasagne and sage tofu ricotta
This lasagne was inspired by butternut squash ravioli with sage, one of my favourite Italian dishes. The texture of the squash and tofu ricotta is velvety smooth with a layer of succulent caramelized onions and folds of nutty, wholewheat lasagne sheets to give it structure. This dish is always a crowd-pleaser and makes a wonderful | vegetarian main course for any celebration.
note: If you can’t find no-boil wholewheat lasagne sheets, make the recipe with regular wholewheat lasagne. Just cook the lasagne according to the directions on the packet, drain and rinse well before layering.
You Will Need
MAKE THE SQUASH PURÉE:
Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Cut neck off butternut squash and cut neck and bottom in half lengthways. Rub squash with olive oil and place cut-side down on parchment-lined tray. Roast for 50 minutes or until you can pierce the flesh easily with a knife. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you cook the onions. Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out seeds with a spoon and peel off skin. Compost seeds and skin. Add squash to food processor with 11⁄2 teaspoons sea salt and a pinch of black pepper. Blend until completely smooth; place in a bowl and set aside. Rinse out food processor.
CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS:
Warm oil in a large frying pan over medium heat; add onions. Sauté for 10 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add salt, lower heat slightly and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes or until onions are soft and caramelized. Remove from heat and set half the onions aside for layering in the lasagne. Place remaining onions in a food processor.
MAKE THE TOFU RICOTTA:
Warm olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add garlic, reduce heat a little and simmer until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Crumble tofu into food processor with onions and add brown rice vinegar, ume plum vinegar, sea salt, a pinch of black pepper and garlic-oil mixture. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
Add chopped sage and process until incorporated. Place in a bowl and set aside 120 ml (4 fl oz/heaped 1⁄2 cup) of ricotta mixture for garnishing top of lasagne.
ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNE:
Preheat oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5. Brush lasagne dish with olive oil. Spread 180 g
(61⁄2 oz/3⁄4 cup) squash purée over bottom of dish and top with a single layer of lasagne sheets. Spread 360 g (121⁄2 oz/11⁄2 cups) squash purée over lasagne, then top with half of tofu ricotta. Repeat with another layer of lasagne and another 360 g (121⁄2 oz/11⁄2 cups) squash purée. Spread caramelized onions over squash and top with a final layer of lasagne. Cover with remaining tofu ricotta and top with remaining squash purée. Spoon 8 dots of reserved tofu ricotta evenly over top, press a sage leaf into each one and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Cover with baking parchment and then with foil; bake for 50 minutes or until pasta is tender and lasagne is heated through. To test, insert a knife into centre; you shouldn’t feel any resistance. If pasta is still firm, continue cooking covered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10 minutes more or until top layer of squash looks set. Remove from oven and allow to sit at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.
Store any leftover lasagne in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat covered in the oven until heated through.