Sunday, September 23, 2012

Episode 105 - Pumpkin Lasagna V.2.0

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Just a little under a year ago I wrote about this Fall-style pumpkin lasagna.  It was rich.  It was creamy.  It was not waist-line friendly.  Nope, not even a little bit.  This version is lighter but equally delicious.  Don't skip the sage; it makes the whole recipe!

Pumpkin Lasagna - minus a few pounds of saturated fat. 

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cups of your favourite tomato sauce
12-15 oven -ready lasagna noodles
1.5 cups smooth ricotta cheese
1 cup canned pumpkin ( NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
1 egg
2 sprigs fresh sage
1 tsp oil
pinch of nutmeg
smaller pinch of cloves
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
First you need to put your fillings together!  Brown up your ground beef in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Drain off most of the fat and then mix in your tomato sauce.  If your sauce came from a can (shame on you!) I'd recommend adding some herbs and spices at this point - maybe some oregano or basil.  Voila - tomato sauce done.
Next do the pumpkin layer.  Start by cooking your sage in a small frying pan with the oil over medium heat.  This should only take a few minutes - you want it to get wilt-y and to start smelling delicious.  Toss the cooked sage into a medium bowl and add the ricotta, pumpkin, nutmeg, cloves and salt and pepper.  Mix everything until it's smooth then add in your egg.  Stir until the egg is well incorporated and you're done!
Now for the fun part - construction! Start by adding a few ladles of tomato sauce into the bottom of your lasagna pan.  Place a single layer of noodles on top.  Top this with about half of the pumpkin/ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella.  Add another layer of noodles and repeat all of the layers a second time - pumpkin/ricotta, tomato, cheese.  Finish with a final layer of noodles topped with the last of the tomato sauce, the last cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan.  Stand back and admire your work - looks delicious already!  Now cover that baby with some tinfoil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.  Remove the tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes.   Last, but not least, remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit to cool for at least 15 more minutes.  This will help it set up and to not be a complete goopy mess when you cut into it. Enjoy!

This mass of cheesy perfection was a perfect way to end a perfectly relaxing weekend.  That's a lot of perfection! It started with a last minute massage (where I was told I need to attend "posture rehab"), a glass of wine and some comfy pyjamas, was filled with a low-key board game party and is now ending with some cheese and more pyjamas.  Yep, my weekend was a pyjama sandwich.  How was yours?
Pj party!

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