June 6, 2012

Pumpkin Lasagne

While I love cooking, I still don't feel comfortable changing and adjusting the recipes that I find. I do admire those who can do that, and sometimes I wish I could come up with some of the great ideas for recipes that other bloggers do. I wish I had the confidence to play around with recipes and experiment with different flavours that might not have been tried before....but I'm a rule follower - I like having the instructions there to follow. But the other night I was forced to play around with a recipe. It was one of those nights where you open the cupboard and......there's pretty much nothing inside. We did have a whole butternut pumpkin for me to do something with, however, so I decided to have a look around online to see if I could find a recipe for pumpkin lasagne.
I managed to find this beautiful sounding recipe from Food Mayhem but decided to see how bechamel sauce would go with it. I wasn't sure if it would make the lasagne too rich, but it ended up working really well. It's one of the first times I've deviated from the recipe and tried something new like that and I'm so glad I did. I seriously couldn't get enough - the pumpkin was sweet and full of flavour, and the bechamel sauce added a creaminess to the dish. This will definitely be something I'll be making over and over again in the future - yum!
Pumpkin Lasagne
90g butter
1/3 cup plain flour
2 cups warm milk
Handful of grated tasty cheese
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tsp mince garlic
1 butternut pumpkin
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
pinch pepper
1 box lasagne sheets
grated mozzarella cheese to sprinkle over top

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

2. Cut your butternut pumpkin into quarters and place on a baking tray. Cover each piece with foil (just over the top) and bake in the oven for at least 1 hour - or until the pumpkin is soft through. Scoop out the flesh of the cooked pumpkin and using either a ricer or a food processor turn it into a puree. If you have tinned pumpkin puree already, you can use this as a replacement.

3. In a medium sized saucepan on medium heat melt 90g butter. Once the butter is melted stir in the flour. Once you can see small bubbles around the edges of the mixture add a little of the warmed milk and stir through. Continue adding the milk in small amounts, stirring well in between each addition until it is all used. Allow the mixture to thicken, while continuing to stir and then stir in the grated cheese. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. In another saucepan, melt the 3 tbsp butter on low heat. Add the mince garlic and brown lightly. Stir in the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until it's all warm. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5. In your lasagne or baking dish (approx 9x13) smear a thin layer of the pumpkin mixture on the bottom. Cover this with a layer of lasagne sheets. Smooth a layer of the bechamel sauce over the top of the lasagne sheets. Spread a layer of the pumpkin mixture on top of this. Repeat this process with layers of pasta, then bechamel sauce and then pumpkin - try to make each layer fairly thin so that you end up with approximately 5 layers.

6. Finish with the bechamel sauce being the top layer and sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese.

7. Cover the lasagne with aluminium foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the top of the lasagne is a golden brown colour.
Recipe Source:
Adapted from Food Mayhem's Pumpkin Lasagne Recipe

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