Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Lasagne

For the third installment of pumpkin week, I turned to a tasty lasagne recipe which incorporated what else but pumpkin puree in the filling.  I was intrigued with this recipe since it had all the traditional components of lasagne but with the addition of pumpkin puree.  The sauce was made with onion, garlic, Italian sausage meat, red wine, tomato sauce and herbs.  I used traditional lasagne noodles, which I cooked before assembling.  I mixed the pumpkin puree with an egg and added the ricotta, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  The recipe also had a layer of thinly sliced zucchini between layers.

The pumpkin in this recipe was just a little hint of something different and quite interesting.

Pumpkin Lasagne
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup red wine
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 lasagne noodles
1 egg
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the pumpkin puree in a fine sieve over a bowl; set aside to drain while making the sauce.

Heat the tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 more minutes. .  Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half.  Stir in the tomato sauce and herbs and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Season with salt and pepper, cover and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the lasagne noodles and cook as the label directs.  Drain and set aside.

Mix the strained pumpkin puree with the egg in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Add the ricotta, half of the mozzarella and the Parmesan.

Build your lasagne in an 8 x 8" square baking dish.  Start with a layer of sauce, then top with a layer of lasagne noodles (I cut the excess off the end of two noodles and used the cut pieces for the third row of noodles).  Evenly spread half of the pumpkin/ricotta mixture, then half of the zucchini over the noodles.  Cover with some of the sauce.  Repeat the layers, finishing with noodles and sauce; sprinkle with the remaining  mozzarella.  Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly.  Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

Slightly adapted from Robert Irvine

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