For the Béchamel Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper
2 ¼ lb spinach, washed
3 Tbsp butter
generous grating of nutmeg
8 8 to 12 fresh lasagna noodles
4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the squash, put into a roasting pan, drizzle on the oil, and season. Toss and roast until tender and slightly charred. It can take 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp light brown sugar
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Season to taste.
1 bay leaf
½ cup butter
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
For the béchamel, put the milk in a saucepan with the peppercorns, onion, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and leave for 45 minutes to infuse. Strain. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and add the flour. Over a low heat, stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Gradually add the milk, beating well after each addition and adding more only when completely smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring, until thick. Reduce the heat and cook for 4 minutes, then season well, adding the nutmeg.
Put the spinach in a saucepan with the water that clings to it after washing. Cover and put over medium heat. Wilt for about 4 minutes, turning. Squeeze out the water, chop the spinach, and put it in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of the butter. Heat gently, tossing, season, and add the nutmeg.
Use the remaining butter to grease a pie or gratin dish (about 1-1/2 qt capacity). Add a layer of squash, then a layer of tomato sauce. Lay lasagna noodles on top, cut so they don’t overlap. Add a layer of béchamel, half the spinach, and half the cheese. Now put in another layer of lasagna and the remaining spinach. Add a layer of squash, a layer of tomato sauce and a final layer of béchamel. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
Recipe from Plenty by Diana Henry/Mitchell Beazley, 2010.