04 November 2016

Pumpkin lasagna is not gross!

What do you do with pumpkins besides bake them into a delicious pie?  My neighbors grow enough stuff I don't really want that I could probably make a sub-category in this blog: "recipes that were the result of unwanted produce". And so it goes with the following recipe, but I have to tell you, I am hooked now. The flavors are great, it's healthy, and like traditional lasagnas, it's very easy to make ahead and freeze (either cooked for future desk lunches are uncooked for future cooking, as directed below). 

Pumpkin Lasagna

Serves 6
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
2 crumbled Field Roast or other vegetarian sausages, optional
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup plain almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
black pepper
9 no-cook lasagna noodles
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese*
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms, sausages, onion, spinach, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, cream, lemon juice, garlic, sage, pepper and remaining salt.

Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in an 11x7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles (noodles will overlap slightly). Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.

Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. 

Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked lasagna. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.

*For a vegan option, replace the shredded cheeses with dairy-free options (obvs.) and ricotta with 1 block silken tofu blended with 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and a dash of salt.  It will be more like a white sauce in consistency, so use sparingly to avoid a runny lasagna, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to one week and used as an Alfredo sauce over pasta!