Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagne

Having a bit of a haul from our Pumpkin Picking on Sunday, I created this vegetarian Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagne on Monday – another Meat Free Monday option added to the repertoire.

I must admit, usually I would make my own béchamel or white sauce for lasagne, but as I had a sick boyfriend at home and our toddler to run around after and was batch cooking for the week, I took a cheat here and used the Dolmio Lasagne Sauce – which actually is pretty decent and I wouldn’t hesitate to use again as a shortcut. I’m not one for processed sauces, but sometimes the need for speed overtakes and the pressures of family and working life intervene.

This was a family dinner favourite – anything involving pasta always is with my daughter and Glen; Glen’s slightly harder to please with our meat-free options, but this went down well and we all agreed we’d have it again.

I thought I’d share this in honour of Pumpkin Day this Saturday in the lead up to Halloween.

Here’s how:

1 small roasted pumpkin (can use butternut squash)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika
1 pack washed spinach
Lasagne sheets
1 jar Dolmio Lasagne White Sauce
50g grated Cheddar cheese
1 whole nutmeg
Salt & Pepper

Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Roast the pumpkin until slightly softened. Allow the pumpkin to cool, then peel, and chop the flesh into long slice, discarding the pith and seeds inside (unless you’re using the pumpkin seeds for roasting and snacking on). Set aside.

To make the tomato sauce, add the olive oil to a pan on a low heat. Peel and dice the onion and mince the garlic and add to sauté slowly in the olive oil on a gentle heat.

Once slightly softened, add the tomatoes (could use passata), tomato puree, oregano, paprika and a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper to season. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes, or longer if you have it.

Once you’re happy with the sauce, remove from the heat and you’re ready to assemble the lasagne.

Firstly lay a layer of pumpkin at the bottom of an oven proof dish. Then spoon over a generous amount of the tomato sauce (you’ll need two layers so use about half). 

Next place the lasagne sheets over the top – don’t layer these on top of each other or they become a bit yucky in cooking.

Now pour over the Dolmio White Sauce to cover the sheets sufficiently. Now grate the nutmeg over really generously – this gives a really lovely warming flavour and really complements the dish, so be super generous.

Scatter over a really generous amount of spinach leaves – only one layer is spinach and it wilts quickly so add more, rather than less. 

Now repeat the process of adding the pumpkin, topped with tomato sauce then the lasagne sheets and white sauce.

Once again, grate over a really generous amount of nutmeg over the top with salt and black pepper and finish with the Cheddar before placing into the oven.

Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling away. Serve with a handful of green salad leaves, such as watercress or rocket. Enjoy! 

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