And since the world is celebrating all things pasta today (Hence: World Pasta Day) I decided a fresh take on lasagna was in order. Who says marinara is the only way to go? What about pumpkin? Pumpkin has got to be delicious with ricotta and garlic, I figured, and would be a nice change from the usual marinara and cheese lasagna. What better lasagna can there be for a fall Meatless Monday?
((BTW, (warning – huge digression coming) you know that saying that goes something like “let’s throw it on the wall and see what sticks”? Well, I recently was cooking pasta with a dear old friend of mine, and she never uses a clock or timer. She just takes out a strand, throws it on the wall behind the stove and – If it sticks, it’s done!Â If it falls off the wall, it’s not cooked enough yet.. I always thought that was an old wives tale. But – hey! – since we ARE old wives now, all those Old Wives Tales are now becoming our way of life. And, it really works – pasta that sticks will be a perfect doneness, turns out.))
So, fab foodies, this lasagna was a spectacular success – even with family members that are very Old School about their classic Italian dishes. The rich and creamy cubes of roasted pumpkin with ricotta seasoned with sage and oregano leaves is the best that fall flavors have to offer. I will make this lasagna again and again and again. Even when it’s NOT World Pasta Day.
ROASTED PUMPKIN AND GARLIC LASAGNA
2 pound sugar pumpkin
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente stage
15 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
1 can (15 ounces) pureed pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 to 10 green onions, thinly sliced, with greens
1 cup sweetened diced dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely diced dried apricots
1 tablespoon oregano leaves, minced
1 tablespoon sage leaves, minced
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Scoop the seeds and strings out of the pumpkin and cut into large chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on a baking sheet, skin side down. Also scatter the garlic cloves on baking sheet.Roast for 60 to 90 minutes, until pumpkin begins to brown on edges and is fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove skin and cut pumpkin into small cubes, about the size of regular dice. Smash garlic cloves with a fork.
Stir together the smashed garlic cloves, ricotta, pureed pumpkin, cardamom and nutmeg. Set aside.
Layer in the following order: a little ricotta mixture; noodles; ricotta mixture; a little of the cranberries; a little of the apricots; some pumpkin cubes; some oregano and sage; a little green onions; cheeses. Repeat for a total of three layers.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until browned and bubbling around edges.
A few brave souls who have made pumpkin lasagna:
Autumn Turkey and Pumpkin Lasagna, Bitchin Camero
Pumpkin and ricotta Lasagna, Gourmet Worrier
Pumpkin Lasagna, Food Mayhem
Pumpkin Lasagna, Noshtalgia
— posted by Donna