Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pumpkin Lasagna

I love pumpkin, which is good, because we grew a lot of it last year.  They stored fresh for quite a while, lining our dining room like overstock holiday decorations, but when one started to get a little soft around the edges, manflesh took on the task or roasting them all up and freezing bags of puree for later use.

Since that day, it's been my goal to come up with as many ways to work pumpkin into our daily diet as possible, so that we can eat through the backlog before the next crop comes in.

To that end, I give you pumpkin lasagna, a delicious creamy savory dish that hits the spot any time of year.

You need:

2 small or 1.5 large onions
olive oil
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 cup walnuts
shredded mozzarella cheese

For the pumpkin-ricotta filling:
4 cups pumpkin puree (home roasted is preferred, but canned will do in a pinch)
16 oz ricotta
2 eggs
1 tbsp Italian herbs
1 tsp salt

For the creamy garlic sauce:
2.5 cups milk
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
6 cloves garlic

Start by caramelizing your onions.  Cut them into half-inch slices, and add to a frying pan with a hearty glug of olive oil and a shake of salt over medium heat.  Keep the lid on until the onions are really soft and translucent, then take it off and stir them occasionally to help them caramelize evenly.  They're done when they reach a warm golden brown color.

While the onions are cooking, boil your noodles according to package directions, mix up the pumpkin-ricotta filling ingredients in a large bowl, and mix the garlic sauce ingredients in a large spouted measuring cup or a smaller bowl (a spouted cup will make it easier to pour later).

To assemble, start by pouring just enough of the garlic sauce into the pan to barely cover the bottom.  You'll need to stir the sauce each time before you pour to keep the corn starch mixed evenly.

Layer three noodles over the sauce to completely cover the bottom of the pan.  Follow that with half the pumpkin-ricotta mixture, spread evenly, then scatter half the onions and half the walnuts over the top.  Pour about a half-cup of sauce over the layered ingredients.  Cover everything with three more noodles, and repeat the layers from there with the rest of the ingredients, ending with a third and final noodle layer.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the top noodles, then add a hearty layer of shredded mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until everything is hot and bubbly all the way through.

Not my finest photographic work, but I swear it tastes better than it looks.

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