Roasted pumpkin and creamy cheese lasagne (lasagna); a Boxing Day special - although I have made this for Christmas Eve too! This is a wonderful addition to the festive vegetarian table, but is ALSO hugely popular with meat eaters. This is my adapted version of Nigella Lawson's pumpkin lasagne; I have changed a few of the methods and added (as well as omitted) a few ingredients! Boxing day is the day after Christmas day, also called St Stephen’s Day – the 26th December; it is a public holiday in the UK and most Commonwealth countries……….generally a turkey curry day, or a turkey-free day, one of the two! Serve this with a large bowl of salad and some crusty bread for mopping up the delicious sauce.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 8 sage leaves
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 1⁄4 kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 3cm rough cubes
- 5 ml vermouth or 5 ml white wine
- 60 ml water
- 1 (400 g) can chopped tomatoes
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (400 g) cans chopped tomatoes
- 500 ml water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
- good grinding pepper
- 225 g soft fresh goat's cheese
- 225 g cream cheese with garlic and herbs
- 250 g grated cheddar cheese
- 500 g ricotta cheese
- 3 large organic eggs
- good grating fresh nutmeg
- 2 (300 g) packetsfresh lasagna sheets, 600g total
- 2 balls mozzarella cheese
- 125 g pine nuts, toasted
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6, slipping in a baking sheet as you do.
- To make the pumpkin filling: heat the oil and butter in a shallow casserole dish or roasting tin and fry the sage leaves over a gentle heat for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan and fry very gently for another 10 minutes or so. Add the pumpkin pieces, turn well in the oniony oil and then add the vermouth (or wine), the water and chopped tomatoes. Roast in a pre-heated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning – I tend to add quite a bit of salt here – and leave to cool.
- For the tomato sauce: simply pour the chopped tomatoes and water into a large jug or bowl, and stir in the sugar, salt and pepper, whisking it all together.
- To make up the cheese layer: in a separate bowl beat the goat’s cheese, cream cheese, Cheddar and ricotta with the eggs, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble the lasagne, begin by putting 500ml of the cold tomato sauce in the bottom of a roasting tin (measuring approx 36cm x 26cm x 6cm). Then layer with a third of the lasagne sheets, overlapping them well. Leave the rest of the tomato sauce aside for the time being.
- Layer a third of the pumpkin filling over the lasagne, and dollop on a third of the cheese mixture, coaxing with a rubber spatula. It won’t cover completely; think more of spreading blobs about. Then start again with a layer of lasagne, followed by pumpkin, then the cheese. Repeat once more – lasagne, pumpkin, and the last of the cheese mixture. Pour the remaining cold tomato sauce over, letting it sink down and be absorbed in the layers. Slice and chop the mozzarella balls and dot over the top.
- Cook in the oven, on the baking sheet, for 1 hour. Once cooked, take out of the oven and let it stand for 15-30 minutes to make cutting and serving easier. (I love this when it’s been standing for an hour or so, too.) As you cut and slice, you will notice a shallow tomatoey cheesy pool at the bottom of the tin; bread dunked into this is gorgeous.
- Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the lasagne, and cut into squares to serve.
- MAKE AHEAD TIP Up to 2 days ahead, make the pumpkin filling, leave to cool and keep, covered, in the fridge. Make the cheese layer and keep, covered, in the fridge. When ready to use, assemble the lasagne and cook as directed.
- FREEZE AHEAD TIP Cook, cool and freeze the cooked pumpkin for up to 1 week. Thaw overnight in the fridge. When ready to use, assemble the lasagne and cook as directed.
I got a bumper crop of winter squash from my garden this year, and have been searching for ways to use it. This lasagna turned out great. I did use some shortcuts: I used pre-made tomato sauce and I only used ricotta and mozarella cheese. The squash from my garden had such a hard shell that I couldn't peel it and cube it up before cooking it, so I had to roast large chunks of it first, then scrape it out of the shell and add it to the onions and sage. If I had a more tender squash like a butternut or acorn, it would have worked the way you wrote it. I also added spicy Italian sausage to the pumpkin filling, but it would be fine without. Thanks for a good main-dish pumpkin recipe for me to use.
An excellent vegetarian lasagna!! Pumpkin and tomatoes go sooo well together! I made this for a family gathering, it makes a LOT, so I did manage to have a bit leftover, which I can assure you, is even better for the keeping, lol! I used the freeze-ahead tip and made the pumpkin filling a week ahead and froze it, I used the make-ahead tip and prepared the cheese mixture the day before. I also gave this about a half-hour relaxation time before serving. The flavours are rich and complex, a subtle sweetness which is so pleasing, the texture is firm and yet melting, all in all, a decadent pleasure. This could easily be scaled down, I will almost certainly do that another time as I am not so often feeding the five thousand! But we loved it, another dish to make me appear the accomplished hostess, lol! I might add that the pumpkin filling all by itself itself makes a wonderful veggie, I was cheerfully eating pieces when I made it! I wondered whether to mash it smooth before using it, but in the end, spread it on in a more chunky fashion, which worked very well. PS I might add that I thought a creamy blue cheese might also add a piquant touch to the cheese mixture, and may try that another time. I am a great lover of blue cheese! Thank you FT, totally yum! Made for our January VIP, FT, Veg*n Swap#18