Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagna

The garden yielded us a total of 13 pumpkins. I'm pretty sure the packet of seeds we planted said New England pie pumpkins, but these guys are way bigger than we expected them to be! We are going to have plenty of pumpkin for Thanksgiving next month and more than enough to share with friends.

Now I'm on the hunt for pumpkin recipes, especially those that take pumpkin beyond pie status to the dinner plate. I have read that any recipe calling for butternut squash can use pumpkin instead, so I have lots of room to experiment with that hypothesis. Here is my version of a recipe that I tried this week for Pumpkin Lasagna.

I was a little trepidatious when I first envisions a pumpkin lasagna, thinking of cutting into a square and finding a thick layer of pumpkin filling, but it wasn't how I imagined it - it was much prettier and tastier. The pumpkin puree is blended with soft ricotta and other cheeses for a creamy golden layer that sits besides your traditional layers of pasta sauce, noodles, meat and vegetables. I love the versatility of lasagna as a season dish that you can throw zucchini and eggplant into in summer, then pumpkin in the fall. This is definitely a recipe I would make again.

Pumpkin Lasagna

1 medium onion, chopped
4 to 6 garlic chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef or Italian sausage, casings removed
4 handfuls baby spinach
2 jars of prepared pasta sauce
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and spices, to taste
1 pound low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + extra for topping
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles

In a large heavy skillet, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add meat and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add spinach and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl mixing together the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Add eggs, pumpkin puree and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix very well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Build your lasagna in a large (9 by 12-inch) starting with a layer of sauce, a layer of pasta, a layer of half the sausage and a layer of half the filling. Add another layer of pasta, sauce, the remaining sausage and the filling. Finish with a layer of pasta and a layer of sauce. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!