Yes, I’m aware the we’re in mid-pumpkin overkill season and that people are putting pumpkin in everything from the traditional pie/bread to macaroni and cheese. So I wanted to make something a little more ‘out there’ as far as pumpkin goes. When it hit me to make a pumpkin themed lasagna I was super tickled with myself and very pleased with the outcome (which is delicious and I strongly recommend you give this recipe a shot, yes it’s long so save the assembling for a weekend day but it is an awesome freezer item. Fed me all week).
Then I found out it had already been invented and was a little put off. But who cares about who made it first? (as long as we are clear that my recipe is the one you must make today…) A winner for any autumn occasion.
“whole wheat noodles?!?! NO.”-Dearest Sister Claire
1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
1/2 onion, chopped
16oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
140z part skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for on top)
1/2 cup mozzerella cheese
Pumpkin Bechemel Sauce (adapted from Giada’s bechemel recipe):
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups warmed milk (I’ve used skim before and it’s fine as long as you warm it up well. In this recipe I used 2% but I doubt anything besides chocolate milk would suffice)
1-15oz can of pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
8 chopped sage leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine*
Start with the bechemel. Melt the butter and chopped fresh thyme and sage in a large skillet over medium heat and then add the flour, whisking constantly. Stir and cook the flour for about 2 minutes till it has a golden tint, then and the milk 1/2 cup (or ladlefull at a time). This part just freaks me out because the butter/flour mixture immediately congeals into dumpling-like clusters and it’s nowhere near a sauce. Just gross milk soup. (EW Rebecca! why did you even have to bring in that visual?). Just keep whisking (over medium heat) like it’s your job and adding the milk a little at a time. Don’t let it boil, just keep it simmering.
STIR. And some more. (this goes on about 10 minutes or so, you need to stir till the sauce actually looks like a sauce and is thick) Then add the pumpkin and nutmeg. *I added about a half cup of white wine here, which I strongly recommend you do too but it’s not big deal if you don’t* Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Set aside. Take a breather, that was the hardest part and you made it! Good for you.
Alright, back to work! In another large saute pan, cook the onions over medium-high in a few teaspoons olive oil for 2-3 minutes till tender, then add the mushrooms and cook down for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook till fully wilted. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, thyme, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
In a large pot of boiling, salted/oiled, water, cook the lasagna noodles till almost done. Drain.
In you choice large lasagna-baking dish, layer the sauce, noodles, ricotta, mushroom mixture (in that order) and repeat till your out of ingredients or the pan is full. *make sure your top layer is noodle and bechemel on top* sprinkle mozzerella cheese and remaining parmesan on top of that. Bake for 30-45 minutes till the crust is golden delicious slightly brown. Enjoy! You worked for this one 😉
The value of this recipe is that even Sister Claire agreed it was edible and even maybe….Good???!!