Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Lasagna Recipe by Request


First prepare a medium-sized pumpkin by cutting it in eighths and removing stem, seeds, and stringy interior stuff. Bake the slices on a cookie sheet, skin down, at 350º until it's pretty soft and you can easily peel off the skin. Cut the peeled pieces into 1/2 inch chunks. You will need around 2 or 3 cups of pumpkin -- if you have extra, use it in soup or make it into a side-dish with another meal. The pumpkins in the photo are the two that ended up in my two recipes of lasagna.

2-3 cups cooked pumpkin as described above.
2 or 3 onions, chopped and browned in butter or oil
Around 2/3 of a box of no-boil lasagna noodles
1 lb. of ricotta or farmer's cheese (ricotta makes a sweeter filling)
Optional: additional 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
Around 2-3 cups of shredded cheese that melts nicely (for the topping)
Sage-flavored white sauce (ingredients below)
Sage, basil, salt, and pepper to taste

Make the white sauce (see notes).

Mix ricotta/farmer's cheese/cottage cheese with sage and basil.

Brown the onions. Add sage, salt, pepper, and pumpkin and cook in the butter for a while longer.

Generously coat a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with butter. Layer the ingredients as follows:
  • A layer of sauce
  • A single layer of noodles, touching each other and covering most or all of the surface and coated with more sauce. (Break noodles to make them fit if necessary.)
  • Half of the pumpkin-onion mixture evenly spread over the noodles.
  • Another layer of noodles covered with more sauce.
  • All of the ricotta/farmer's cheese/cottage cheese mixture spread evenly over noodles.
  • Another layer of noodles/sauce.
  • The rest of the pumpkin.
  • More sauce and noodles.
  • ALL the rest of the sauce and a bit more milk if needed.
  • The shredded cheese evenly spread over the top.
After assembling the lasagna, be sure that all the noodles are in liquid sauce -- if not, add a bit of milk. Before putting it in the oven, let the assembled dish rest for around 20 minutes so that the noodles can begin to absorb the sauce.

Cooking time at 400º -- 30 minutes covered with foil followed by 15 minutes uncovered -- enough to brown the cheese. After removing it from the oven, keep the dish at room temperature for around another 15 to 20 minutes so that the cheese and sauce all firm up. Otherwise you will have trouble cutting and serving nice squares (this is true for all lasagna).

  • White sauce ingredients are: 2 -4 Tb butter (can omit butter if browning flour in non-stick pan), 1/3 cup flour, 4 cups milk, around 1 Tb. sage, salt & pepper. Should not be too thick. If you have never made white sauce, you need to look up the standard method of making a roux, adding hot milk, and simmering the sauce.
  • To make onions brown better, add 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar or a pinch of sugar.
  • The lasagna can be refrigerated after baking and reheated a day or two later.
  • Obviously if you use browned flour only (no butter) in the white sauce, skim milk, non-fat ricotta or farmer's cheese, little butter or oil for browning the onions/pumpkin, and low-fat mozzarella for topping, you can make this an incredibly low-fat lasagna. I did not try making it low-fat.
  • I would NEVER use canned pumpkin for this!

1 comment:

Tina said...

Thanks fo giving me the link to your lasagna over on my food blog. I would never have thought of using pumpkin, I like the looks of it. You write out very clear instructions too, thank you!