Italian shepherd’s pie

Friends over for dinner this evening and a riff on Nigella Lawson’s lamb ragu (, which I used as the base for what – topped with mashed butternut squash as a lower carb alternative to potato – I’m calling Italian shepherd’s pie.

Nigella’s recipe serves two, so I simply doubled the quantities (except the redcurrant jelly – the butternut squash adds sufficient additional sweetness), substituting a 680ml jar of passata for the chopped tomatoes and adding another 100 or so mls of water that I swished out the passata jar with.  Once it had plocked away gently on the hob for an hour or so, I decanted it into a lasagna dish, sprinkled it with some finely grated parmesan and then topped it with the butternut squash (which I’d steamed from frozen before mashing with a knob of butter).  Final touch was to top the mash with the remainder of the grated parmesan and pop it in the oven (fan, 150) for half an hour or so.  Served with some lightly steamed fine green beans, it served three (with seconds for my two guests and enough left over for lunch tomorrow).


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