Make this indulgent twist on lasagne, or click here for our classic lasagne and butternut squash lasagne recipes.

Also check out more meatball recipes, such as our baked Italian meatballs and vegetarian meatballs.


  • 3 onions, 1 sliced and 2 finely chopped
  • 20 sages leaves
  • a pinch ground mace
  • 1.2 litres whole milk
  • 75g salted butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 125g  parmesan, finely grated
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • a good grating nutmeg
  • 600g veal meatballs, (see notes below)
  • 1-2 tbsp
 olive oil
  • 200g dried pasta sheets
  • 400g butternut squash sheets, (buy from Sainsbury’s, or thinly slice your own)


  • STEP 1

    Put the sliced onion, 10 whole sage leaves, mace and 1 litre of the milk into a large pan and gently bring to just below simmering point. Turn off the heat, cover and leave the milk until cold. Strain and reserve the milk.

  • STEP 2

    Put the chopped onions and butter into a pan and cook gently, partly covered, until the onion is very soft but not coloured. Scoop out the onions with a slotted spoon leaving behind as much butter as you can (put the onion in a sieve over a bowl to catch any more butter). Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in the infused milk, a little at a time, until all the milk is incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Bring it to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened, then take off the heat. Stir in 2/3 of the grated parmesan with the whipping cream and season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Finely chop the rest of the sage leaves and stir these in too, along with the softened chopped onion.

  • STEP 3

    Fry the meatballs over a high heat, in batches, in a little olive oil until they’re really golden and crispy.

  • STEP 4

    In a big baking dish, layer up ladlefuls of 1/2 the béchamel sauce with the meatballs, the pasta sheets and the butternut squash sheets. Mix the last 200ml of milk into the rest of the béchamel and pour this over the entire thing. Cover with foil.

  • STEP 5

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil, scatter over the remaining parmesan, and bake for another 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden.

Look for high-welfare veal meatballs, available in some supermarkets and good butchers, or swap in pork or turkey meatballs.

Check out our meatball recipes

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