Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pumpkin Lasagna

My last pumpkins ripened on the counter, their vines having died as soon as the nights dropped close to 50º.  I missed using them for Thanksgiving, but now I get them all to myself.

All of the online recipes I read were for canned pumpkin.  The way I'm doing it, you could substitute pretty much any squash.  Acorn squash has the closest texture.
This pretty much follows the pattern for a regular lasagna.  The pumpkin mix is the marinara and the mushrooms are the meat.  For a non-vegetarian version, you could use ground turkey or chicken.

I mostly followed this recipe from Taste of Home, but cooked noodles from dry because they were on sale for 88¢.  With a side salad, this is a full vegetarian meal.

3 C canned or roasted puréed pumpkin (the 28 oz can)
9 lasagna noodles
8 oz mushrooms, preferably crimini (baby bella)
1 C diced onion
1 Tb olive oil
*1/2 C half-and-half
1 tsp sage
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 C ricotta cheese
1 C shredded mozzarella
3/4 C grated parmesan

1.  Start boiling a big pot of water to cook the noodles according to the package directions.  Thinly slice the mushrooms.  Cook the onion and mushrooms in the oil over medium heat until wilted and the mushrooms have given off their water, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.  The water may be boiling by now, so get the noodles cooking.  They will need to be completely cooked.

2.  Stir together the pumpkin, cream, nutmeg, and sage.  Add a little bit of salt and pepper.  Go easy on the salt; there's almost 2 cups of cheese in this, all of it salty.

3.  When the noodles are done, drain into a strainer and rinse with cold water.  Start preheating the oven to 375º.

4.  Get out an 8x8 baking dish.  Spoon about 1/2 C of the pumpkin sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Then layer three noodles, overlapping slightly.  Spoon on another cup of sauce.  Top with half of the mushrooms.  Then half of the ricotta and mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of parmesan.  Start again with another layer of noodles, 1 C of pumpkin, the rest of the mushrooms, and rest of mozzarella and ricotta, plus another 1/4 C of parmesan.  Top with remaining noodles, then the last scrapes of the sauce.
5.  Bake for 15 minutes.  There's no egg in this one and everything is pre-cooked, so you're pretty much just heating it through and melting the cheese.  Top with remaining parmesan and cook another 15 minutes or so, just to brown the cheese.

6.  Let casserole sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before trying to slice.  Serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6

Difficulty rating  :)

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