This lasagna recipe is something I promised Cam I’d try and recreate for a couple of weeks now. We recently had a lovely lunch here on the mountain at the great little deli/restaurant ‘The Kitchen Table’ where we enjoyed the vegetarian antipasto platter and a super tasty fresh pumpkin lasagna. Cam enjoying pumpkin is still something of a rarity. So an opportunity to create a pumpkin recipe we could both heartily enjoy was just too tempting :)
As I was preparing this specially for Cam I decided to go with a non-vegan version using homemade egg pasta and ricotta cheese. You could easily switch this to a completely vegan recipe by substituting in a semolina pasta or simply pre-cook some dried lasagna sheets. In place of ricotta try this delicious dairy-free creamy white sauce recipe I used for the classic lasagna instead.
The pumpkin is roasted in the oven with thyme, cumin and paprika before marinating in lemon juice to give it a truly delicious flavor. Layered with fresh homemade pasta, baby spinach and almonds this vegetarian lasagna recipe is really, really gooooooood!!
I had a little fun hand rolling my homemade pasta with a rolling pin, still no pasta machine!! And as I suffer from a lack of patience and somewhat puny arm muscles the pasta was a little thicker than I had planned. Still with enough pre-cooking time it actually turned out beautifully!!
The almonds add lovely crunch and the pumpkin really shines as the star of the dish. To save time simply use fresh store brought lasagna sheets, found in the cold section of your supermarket or simply pre-cook dried lasagna sheets instead.
Homemade Egg Pasta
if making the pasta you can actually do this step while your pumpkin is marinating
Preparation time: 45mins
Makes 6-8 lasagna sheets
- 200g (7 oz) plain unbleached flour
- 2 certified free-range eggs
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
Sift the flour onto a dry and clean work surface forming a mound. Make a well in the center and carefully pour the eggs into the well and drizzle the olive oil around the outside.
Using your finger tips begin to work the eggs into the flour forming a dough like consistency. Knead the pasta for about 8 minutes until smooth.
Divide the pasta into two equal portions and roll into balls. Let the pasta rest under a damp tea-towel for 10 minutes.
Either using a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface or using a pasta machine roll out the two balls of pasta to approximately 1-2 mm (0.08 inches) thick. Hang the rolled pasta (I used a baking rack balanced between two tall Tupperware containers) out to air for about 10 minutes until just dry enough not to stick together but not too dry it begins to crack.
Cut the dried pasta into approximately 15cm x 8cm sheets and keep layered in a cool dry place until you are ready to cook them.
Pumpkin & Spinach Lasagna
Preparation time: 1 hour 20 mins
- prepared lasagna sheets or store brought fresh or dried lasagna sheets
- 1 kg (2 lb) piece of pumpkin, skinned and sliced into 1cm thick slices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tbs cumin seeds
- ½ tbs paprika
- small bunch of fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
- 500g (1 lb) ricotta cheese (for a vegan version try the dairy-free white sauce recipe instead)
- 100g (3½ oz) baby spinach, washed and dried
- 2 cups pureed fresh tomatoes (use 1 tin of crushed tomatoes if you prefer)
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/392°F
Toss the pumpkin slices with the olive oil, cumin seeds, paprika and thyme until the pumpkin is well coated. Season with ground sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and transfer to a large roasting tray.
Roast the pumpkin in the hot oven for 15 minutes until soft and golden.
Transfer the roasted pumpkin and all the pan juices to a shallow bowl and drizzle over the lemon juice. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
When you are ready to assemble the lasagna cook the prepared or store brought lasagna sheets in batches in plenty or rapidly boiling water until al-dente (tender) but not overcooked.
Have the oven at 180°C/356°F
In a deep pie or lasagna dish spoon in a layer of ricotta cheese or white sauce, top with a layer of baby spinach and then a layer of the roasted pumpkin. Sprinkle over some almonds and then top with cooked lasagna sheets.
Top with a couple of spoonfuls of the pureed tomatoes, more ricotta, baby spinach and pumpkin finishing with the almonds. Top with another layer of cooked pasta and repeat finishing with the layer of almonds.
Dollop on the remainder of the ricotta or white sauce and place in the oven to cook for 35-40 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve accompanied with a crisp salad or a side of veg if you prefer.
A really lovely vegetarian meal perfect for entertaining or a delicious family dinner.
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