Sooooooo…. this post was supposed to go up yesterday, I thought I had scheduled it, but alas, I never did! So here is the first Thanksgiving recipe for November. Things have been a bit of a whirlwind around here. Got back from International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas last week, then I spent my week preparing for a talk which I gave at the monthly Women’s Meeting at our church. The theme of my talk was “How do you see yourself? How does God see you?” It went over well, but being the Type A-Perfectionist-Obsessive Compulsive that I am, I spent a lot of time on it. My husband told me that he would never spend as much time on that as I did! But I can’t help it- that’s just the way I am…. I drive myself and everyone around me nuts sometimes.
Anyway- on to our recipe!
This sounds unusual, and it is- but it’s delicious! My daughter and her husband were coming over for dinner one night and I asked her if she wanted anything special. Her reply was that she wanted something that included pumpkin because she was ready for fall to begin (even though it was almost 90 degrees that day!) The answer was a pumpkin lasagna- total “comfort” food! I have made Pastitstio (a Greek pasta dish) many times in the past. It includes cinnamon in the meat sauce and a lovely white béchamel sauce. I decided to try replacing the meat sauce with a pumpkin filling and lasagna noodles instead of ziti and it came out great! I topped it with chopped hazelnuts but walnuts would work well, too.
Serve this as an unexpected side dish for Thanksgiving- or even as the main course if you are doing a vegetarian holiday. It would make a wonderful vegetarian entrée any time. It is now a frequent request in our house at dinnertime :)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
29 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
14.5 oz can chicken broth (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups hot whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of ground black pepper
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
9 oz box no-boil lasagna noodles
20 oz (about 5 cups) shredded cheese- you can use plain Mozzarella; I prefer the bag of shredded Italian cheeses (Mozzarella, Provolone, Asiago and Parmesan)
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
To make pumpkin filling:
Melt butter in large sauté pan. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat until onion is soft and golden (about 5 minutes.) Add pumpkin, chicken broth, nutmeg and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make béchamel sauce:
In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over low heat. As soon as butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until there are no lumps. Increase heat to medium-low and slowly add the hot milk, whisking constantly until well blended. Continue to whisk and simmer sauce until it begins to get creamy.
Remove from heat. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and egg yolks. Return to low heat and whisk constantly over low heat for 1 minute.
Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
Place a thin layer of pumpkin filling on bottom of pan. Make a single layer of lasagna noodles in bottom of dish. Top with a thin layer of pumpkin filling, about 1/3 cup béchamel sauce (drizzle on), and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Make 3 more layers (noodles, pumpkin filling, béchamel, shredded cheese.) Top with a final layer of noodles. Top with remaining béchamel sauce.
Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and hazelnuts. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 8-10 servings
I hope you will give it a try- it’s a bit of work but it’s really worth it! Please share this with your friends using the handy-dandy social media buttons below!
P.S.- Quilt Market photos later this week!