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Pumpkin Lasagna

Pumpkin Lasagna

Servings:

Prep Time
25 minutes
    Cook Time
60 minutes
       
Print Recipe      
2 fork recipe

Recipes are rated from 1 to 5 forks, with 1 fork being the easiest and 5 forks the most challenging.

Pumpkin lasagna may sound strange to some people, but have you ever had butternut squash ravioli? Lasagna alla zucca, sometimes called lasagna di zucca is a traditional Italian lasagna made from pumpkin or similar squash. The Italian word zucca translates to pumpkin, but butternut squash or similar squash varieties are frequently used. I like using kabocha squash because I feel the taste is more pronounced than traditional American pumpkin, and kobocha squash has less liquid which allows the lasagna to set a little better. If you think pumpkin is only used for sweet recipes, this savory pumpkin recipe is definitely worth a try.

 

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Lasagna:

  • 1 package store bought whole wheat lasagna noodles (2 recipes of homeade pasta dough) (Here is a great homemade Pasta Recipe)
  • 2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) (3 cups roasted and mashed pumpkin or butternut squash)
  • 14 oz firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Non-stick spray Optional but recommended

Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • 2 cups raw cashews (Soaked for at least 30 minutes if you do not have a high-speed blender)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbs white or yellow miso paste (optional)
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet yellow onion (1/4 inch or smaller)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Optional Garnishes:

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Special Equipment:

 

Preparation Method:

Notes:

Make the sage cashew cream sauce before building the lasagna. The sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance if desired.

If you do not have a high speed blender, it is best if you soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes. You must use homemade cashew milk for the sauce, commercial (store-bought) cashew milk will not thicken properly when heated.

If using homemade pasta, roll the pasta into thin sheets of lasagna noodles. There is no need to cook the fresh pasta before building the lasagna. If using store bought lasagna noodles, cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

Sage Cream Sauce:

If you have soaked your cashews, drain and rinse them before adding them to the blender. Add the cashews and 2 cups of water to the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to begin breaking down the cashews.

Add the remaining ingredients except for the sage, thyme, and nutmeg into the blender and process until very smooth, with no visible pieces of cashew remaining. Use a spatula to scrape the sided of the blender periodically if necessary.

Heat a 3 quart or larger sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the sage, thyme, and nutmeg. Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon for about 30 seconds to toast the herbs. The heat will activate the oils and make the flavors more pronounced.

Pour the cashew mixture into the saucepan and stir with a whisk. Continue whisking until the sauce comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add 1/4 cup of water to thin the sauce. Set the sauce aside while you begin building the lasagna.

Pumpkin Lasagna:

Remove the tofu from the package and rinse with cool water. Place a large strainer in a bowl and squeeze the tofu with your hands to remove the excess moisture. Drain the water from the bowl and crumble the tofu into the bowl. Add the pumpkin, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and black pepper and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon to fully combine all of the ingredients.

To build the lasagna, spray the baking dish with non-stick spray and pour enough cashew cream sauce to cover the bottom. Add a layer of noodles and top with 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture. Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce on top of the pumpkin mixture and add another layer of noodles. Top the noodles with 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture and another 1/4 cup of the sauce. Add another layer of noodles and the remaining pumpkin mixture. Top the pumpkin mixture with another layer of noodles and cover with sauce. You should end up with extra sauce, which is ok because you can use it at the end of the baking process.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the aluminum foil. Cover with some of the remaining sauce and return to the oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with additional Sage Cream Sauce.

 

Enjoy!

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