Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna with Four Cheeses

I recently took a cooking class at Sur la Table with my daughter. Two of the recipes were so good, we went home and made them again for everyone that night for dinner. One was this rich and delicious lasagna. Since we were leaving the next day on a trip, we froze the leftovers for dinners for the Hub and me. About once a month I get out one of the packages of leftovers and I remember all over how good this recipe is.

Roger is a happy sous chef


Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna with Four Cheeses
Courtesy of Sur la Table, adapted slightly

2 1/2 pounds diced pumpkin
Salt & pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups half & half
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 10-oz packages frozen spinach

2 cups ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
Black pepper

1 10-oz package lasagna noodles, cooked, drained and blotted dry
2 cups shredded Fontina cheese
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Dice pumpkin and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cook on top of the stove 20 minutes or so until cubes are soft. Set aside.

To prepare bechamel sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, stir with a flat whisk until the mixture is smooth, and then continue to cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Gradually add the milk and half & half while whisking constantly until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking gently, for 5 minutes, or until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and nutmeg. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the spinach and 1/2 cup of bechamel sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper. set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few generous grindings of pepper. Stir with a sauce whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place a rack in the center. generously butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Add a ladleful of the bechamel to the prepared dish, spreading it evenly over the bottom. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles side by side or slightly overlapping if they are wide, on the bottom of the dish. Spoon about half of the ricotta mixture on top and spread evenly. Top with half of the diced pumpkin, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle the pumpkin with salt and pepper, dust lightly with nutmeg, and scatter 1/4 cup of Fontina and Gorgonzola cheeses evenly over the top. Add the spinach mixture by well-spaced spoonfuls and then spread in an even layer. Arrange another 1/3 noodles on top.

Spoon the remaining ricotta mixture on top and spread in an even layer. Top with remaining pumpkin in a single layer. Sprinkle the pumpkin with salt and pepper and scatter 1/4 cup of Fontina and Gorgonzola cheeses over the top. Arrange the remaining noodles on top. Pour the remaining bechamel sauce evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining Fontina and Gorgonzola cheeses.

Bake until the top is browned and bubbly, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares to serve.

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