I love fellow bloggers, particularly foodie bloggers.
Since I am currently carbo-loading for the two oceans half (three days away), I wanted to make a lasagne!
Okay, who am I kidding, I can pasta at any time… relying on carbs to get me through the race to make up for my lack of training is a poor excuse.
So really, I just felt like making a warm, oozing lasagne dish.
But not a regular mince lasagne – a chicken and butternut lasagne.
So I browsed through my recipe books at home and getting frustrated I opted for online and came across one of my favourite fellow blogger’s recipes:
It sounded super yummy and so I set to work.
It turned out fabulously.
I pretty much stuck to her recipe (below), but changed a couple things (see *)
CHICKEN, ROASTED BUTTERNUT AND FETA LASAGNA (serves 6)
2 cups raw butternut squash, peeled and diced (*I just used one whole small butternut sliced thinly)
200g feta cheese (*Danish feta)
Uncooked lasagna sheets
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (*replaced with almost two cups cheddar)
2 chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground cloves (*left this out as I didn’t have cloves)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, crushed
For the tomato sauce:
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed (*three garlic cloves)
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (*I used whole Italian tomatoes and squashed them up)
1 Tbsp tomato paste (*I didn’t have any so left it out)
½ cup white wine (*I used a half cup of Porcupine Ridge Viognier)
For the cheese sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
340ml milk (*I used half milk, half cream)
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup grated mature cheddar (*I used vintage 20 months mature cheddar for this)
Spread the butternut cubes evenly in a shallow roasting dish and toss in enough olive oil to coat lightly. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 190C until tender (about 20 minutes).
Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips. Heat a little love oil in a frying pan, add the crushed garlic, the bay leaf and the chicken. Cook until just done and add the cloves, salt and pepper. Remove from the pan, discard the bay leaf. Set chicken aside and keep warm.
In the same pot, add a little more olive oil as well as the onion and garlic. Fry gently until the onions are translucent but not brown. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato, paste and wine and cook until sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Stir in the cooked chicken, set aside and keep warm.
In a clean pot, melt the butter for the cheese sauce. When melted, add the flour and stir until all the butter has been absorbed. Cook for a minute or 2, then over low heat gradually add the milk, whisking after each addition to make sure there are no lumps. Stir in the nutmeg and grated cheddar and stir until cheddar has melted.
Lightly grease a large square oven-proof dish. Cover the base with lasagna sheets, then top with a layer of the tomato-chicken mix, crumbled feta cheese, roasted butternut cubes and cheese sauce. Repeat these layers, ending with cheese sauce on top. Top with grated mozzarella and bake at 180C until bubbly and golden.