Fall at Its Best: Pumpkin Lasagna

{By Ellery Sadler}

Fall is a delicious time of year. A delightful blend of chilly air and crunchy leaves, the smell of damp earth and spicy pine trees, and lots of wonderful food of course. Pumpkin is one of my favorite things on earth. But I’m kind of in the habit of using it to make sweet things. I don’t think I’ve ever used it as a savory ingredient, until I tried this amazing recipe.

I have to say, I was a bit skeptical when I started. But there was a magazine lying on our couch while I was doing Insanity and this picture of pumpkin lasagna was staring up at me and I was dripping in sweat and feeling lightheaded and slightly starved. So I instantly began to crave pumpkin lasagna and that was all I could think about for the rest of my workout, when I wasn’t thinking about the sweat dripping in my eyes or the burning sensation in my muscles that is.

So I tried this recipe that evening and it was delicious! The subtle pumpkin undertones mixed with cheese and roasted veggies and savory spices make an incredible and creative dish. I highly recommend you try it!

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Ingredients:

1 lb. (500 g) whole milk ricotta cheese

1 tsp. crushed rosemary

1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Salt & pepper, to taste

3 yellow summer squash, cut into rounds 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick

3 zucchini, cut into rounds 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 cups pumpkin Parmesan pasta sauce

12 sheets dried ruffle-edged lasagna noodles, cooked until al
  dente

1 lb. (500 g) Italian fontina or mozzarella cheese, shredded

 

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, sage, 3 Tbs. of the parsley and the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the yellow squash and zucchini and onion with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).

Spread 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) pasta sauce in an even layer on the bottom of the lasagna pan. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles on top, tearing them as needed to fit. Spread 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) ricotta mixture on the noodles and scatter 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) vegetable mixture on top. Spread 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) pasta sauce over the vegetables and sprinkle 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) fontina on top. Layer the noodles, ricotta, vegetables, sauce and fontina 3 more times, omitting the sauce and fontina on the last layer. Top with the remaining noodles, sauce and fontina.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley on top. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.
 (Adapted from William Sonoma.)

 

Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce

2 cans of pumpkin puree (24 oz)

1 cup of chicken stock

2 tsp rosemary

salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp garlic

1 yellow onion finely chopped

1 tbl Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes, until flavors are blended and sauce has been reduced. (To modify the thickness, add a 1-2 tsp cornstarch or flour. To modify the taste, increase or decrease the amount of pumpkin pureee.)  This sauce can also be used by itself on top of ravioli or use as soup and pair with crusty bread for a quick dinner.

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Bon appétit!

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