As some of you may know, I have recently come into possession of a fair amount of pumpkin flesh. Pumpkin is versatile, but how versatile am I going to be able to make it if we are going to be eating it every single day this week, save one…?
Time to find out.
Day 1: pumpkin lasagne.
The thing about lasagne is that it’s a wonderful dish for pretty much anything you want to throw in there. I mostly use it as a leftover dish, for any vegetables still unused by week’s end, supplemented with an emergency stash of frozen beef that I make sure I always have lying around. The thing that ties everything together is the tomato and cream sauce. For seasoning, I like to use fresh herbs if I can.
Here’s what I used this time:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 600 gr ground beef
- 450 gr pumpkin flesh in small cubes
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (400 ml)
- 200 ml soy cooking cream
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black and white pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
- 8 lasagne leaves (the kind that cook in half an hour)
- 200 gr mozzarella, finely cubed
Now, the process is pretty simple: preheat the oven to 200 C/390 F.
Combine the canned tomatoes, the soy cream and the fresh tomatoes in a bowl, and add the salt, pepper, sugar, cumin, thyme and basil, and stir well.
Next, in a deep pan fry the onion and garlic in oil on a medium flame for about 2 minutes, then add the beef and fry it until it’s done.
Next, add the pumpkin and cook it along with the beef for another 3 minutes. Fresh pumpkin gets mushy pretty quickly, so you’ll want to make sure you stop just before the flesh gets too soft.
Then add the tomato and cream sauce, stir and bring it to a soft boil, and as soon as it gets there immediately turn off the flame.
Almost there: in an oven dish, pour a very thin layer of the sauce you just made, then lay a layer of lasagne leaves, another layer of sauce, another layer of lasagne leaves, and finally the rest of the sauce. Finish it off by sprinkling the mozzarella over the top.
Place the oven dish in the oven for 30 minutes.
And that’s it: pumpkin lasagne. Enjoy!