There’s a bit of a cold nip in the air again today. 2 days left of summer but it seems the next season can’t wait.
Yesterday’s cold air made me crave warm comfort food so I made one of our family favourites, a pumpkin based lasagna mixed in with whatever garden greens you can find. It means this dish is extremely versatile and except for a pumpkin, there are no other ‘key’ ingredients. Just whatever you’ve got!
The main ‘sauce’ is a pumpkin puree. Smooth, silky roasted pumpkin, whizzed up with garden herbs of your choice and a touch of garlic. I used sage and thyme.
I don’t peel or deseed my pumpkin (unless I’m saving the seed). I just roast it in the oven and scoop everything out with a spoon. The skin comes off so easily when it’s roasted.
‘Greens’ are sauteed with garlic and onion and layered on the pumpkin puree. For my greens, I used zucchini, spinach and silverbeet but you can use whatever you have, e.g broccoli, chard, fennel, kale, cabbage, collard greens…
A creamy bechamel sauce with a hint of nutmeg is spread in the middle layer as well as the topping, creating an extra decadent dish.
Pumpkin and Mixed Greens Lasagna
300g chopped greens of your choice
30g fresh herbs of your choice
1 Onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
300g lasagna sheets
3 cups grated cheese of your choice
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Heat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.
- Chop your pumpkin in half and roast for 45 minutes until tender.
- In a saucepan, saute the onion until the onion is translucent. Add your chopped greens and two cloves of the garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the greens start to soften and cook down a bit. Do not overcook them as they’ll bake more in the oven. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once your pumpkin has been roasted, scoop out the flesh (discard the seeds) and puree in a food processor along with 150ml of milk, your mixed herbs and the remaining clove of garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. This mixture should be a little runny as this is the ‘sauce’ for the lasagna. Add more milk if needed.
- To make the bechamel sauce, in a saucepan combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of wholemeal flour. Cook this mixture for about 2 minutes before adding 4ooml of milk, whisking constantly as you pour it in. Add in the 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. Whisk until the sauce thickens, for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Making the lasagna: Grease a lasagna tray and add the first layer of pasta sheets. Spread 1/3 of the pumpkin puree and 1/3 of the greens. Add another layer of pasta, 1/3 pumpkin, 1/3 greens and this time also 1/4 of the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese. Add another layer of pasta and the last of the pumpkin and greens.
- Lay on the last layer of pasta and top with the remaining bechamel sauce, the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the pasta is tender.