Posted by: A Part of the Solution | October 7, 2010

Pumpkin Lasagna

With Autumn rolling in across the landscape, and lovely orange pumpkins winking at me from the Curcurbita patch, I’m already plotting their demise and transformation. I plan to keep them out in the field for as long as possible. They’re just so scenic. But I also plan to get every bit of them consumed when the time comes.

I like to roast my pumpkin to prepare it for this dish. Drying it out in that fashion gives a firmer texture to the finished dish. And the Maillard reaction, aka caramelization, deepens and makes more complex the flavors of this wonderful seasonal recipe.

So cut up your pumpkin into large chunks, and scrape all the seed matter off the flesh. Lightly oil each piece. For ease of clean up, you can put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or not. Roast these for about 45 minutes at about 375°. If a fork doesn’t pierce the flesh easily at a point farthest from the edges of the biggest chunk, give the pumpkin another 10-15 minutes.

When it’s cool enough, take the peel off. It should come away readily if the pumpkin is cooked through.

Alert readers will notice this recipe is not just vegetarian but vegan also.

Pumpkin Lasagna

1 5lb pumpkin, roasted and peeled as described above

2 TBSP olive oil

4 fat shallots, peeled and chopped

dash cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, minced

6-8 fresh sage leaves, minced

2 1/2 TBSP red miso

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

6 oz black walnuts, toasted and rubbed so that the majority of their skins comes off, and coarsely chopped

1 box lasagna noodles–still stiff and dry

1/2 recipe All Purpose Tomato Sauce

2-3 cups vegetable stock

In a heavy bottomed pan over moderate heat, get the oil hot and add the chopped shallots. When these become translucent, add the cinnamon and nutmeg and the pumpkin. Reduce the heat and stir this around so that the pumpkin doesn’t stick excessively. Remove from the heat after 10 minutes. With a potato masher, or in a food processor, break down the pumpkin until it’s relatively smooth. Stir in the fresh herbs, the miso (loosen the miso with a very little stock so that it incorporates more easily) and the pepper. Stir in the walnuts.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Put a ladle-full of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan with 2″ sides. Spread it around. On this lay lasagna noodles to cover the pan, leaving 1/4″ around the sides of the pan. Smear 1/2 the pumpkin filling on the noodles, gently so as not to disturb their position in the pan. Cover this with a couple ladles-full of sauce. Repeat with the noodles and the rest of the filling and more sauce. Top with noodles and more sauce. Mix a little sauce with the stock, and pour this around the edges of the lasagna until the liquid is almost to the top of the lasagna. Cover the pan tightly with slightly tented aluminum foil and bake for 55 minutes covered. Uncover and bake a further 25 minutes. Pull from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving. Swooningly good! Profoundly Autumnal! Great as a Thanksgiving main for vegetarian guests.

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Responses

  1. Hey, did I give you the idea to post about this? Or did we do another of those simultaneous /psychic things again?

    • I was thinking about it the other day whilst scanning the garden for coming produce. Then I read your post, and that was the deciding factor.

  2. YAY!!!!!! This is so cool and I can’t wait to make it! Would butternut squash work, or should it really be pumpkin?

    • Pumpkin has a strong flavor suited to the other strong flavors here. You might try a big mushroom sauce and a white sauce for the top with butternut. Don’t forget to have that extra stock on hand so you don’t have to pre-cook the pasta. Flavor the butternut with half the sage, or even a few tablespoons of fresh thyme, and switch the nuts to toasted hazelnut or almond, as well.

  3. […] the Pumpkin Lasagna, I made a pesto. I used  toasted pecans, 1 1/2 cups, and flat leaf parsley, about two store-bought […]

  4. […] say no to soup, unless you have a lot of paper hot cups you’re looking to get rid of. If your lasagna isn’t reliably dry and good at holding it’s shape (as mine is, follow the link […]

  5. […] and succulent. We both had seconds, and that was after we’d had a serving each of leftover pumpkin lasagna. I decided on braising, since  I have a way with a crock […]


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