Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Lasagna

Tonight's dinner is this lovely pumpkin lasagna, which was inspired by Robert Irvine, of Dinner: Impossible. I served the lasagna with a tomato and basil salad, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper and warm french bread. 

ingredients:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed or 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 16-ounce box lasagna noodles
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese
  • 1 large zucchini, very thinly sliced

directions:

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

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 more minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the tomato sauce, basil, parsley 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 lasagna noodles and cook as the label directs. Drain and toss with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

Mix the strained pumpkin puree with the egg in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella and the Romano.

Build your lasagna in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish: Start with a layer of sauce, then top with a layer of noodles. Evenly spread half of the pumpkin filling, then half of the zucchini, over the noodles. Top with half of the cheese mixture and cover with some of the sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with noodles and sauce; sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.




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