Spinach & Pumpkin Lasagne
While we could never quite give up meat, we are trying to introduce more vegetarian meals into our diets. With bubba brewing away, and my ravenous desire for pasta and cheese and not much else, this dish has been a winner of late into tricking me to eat my vegetables.
This lasagne recipe is based on an old hero from student days. Somehow I had the foresight to pocket the little recipe leaflet and paste it into my recipe book. It still bears the tomato stains. Since being promoted to a pantry which tends to be a little more well stocked (ours used to feed six of us for a week, by day three things already looked shaky), I have jazzed up the original version with garlic and chilli.
The key to this recipe is making sure you have a good lasagne dish; something deep and not too wide. Make sure the top layer of pasta sheets is touching liquid before it goes into the oven, otherwise it will not cook properly. It isn’t the quickest recipe, but feeds us for at least two meals.
Takes 1 hour 10 minutes, serves about 4
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 750g pumpkin
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh chilli
- Chicken stock
- 1 large tub of cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
- 2 x 400g cans of tomato pasta sauce
- 350g frozen free-flowing spinach
- 1 cup grated edam or mozzarella cheese
- 350g fresh lasagne sheets
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Slice the onion, chilli and mince the garlic. Add to the pan with a good grind of pepper and a sprinkling of salt. Chop the pumpkin into small 1-2 cm pieces. Add to the pan and leave to brown for about 10 minutes.
3. Mix up about ½ a cup of chicken stock, and add to the pan. I tend to let the pumpkin simmer away for another 10 minutes so that it is nice and soft around the edges.
4. In another bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the egg and thyme, mixing well. In a third bowl, combine the pasta sauces with about a cup of cold water.
5. Thaw out the spinach and drain.
6. To assemble, spread a layer of the tomato sauce into the base of your lasagne dish. Place a layer of lasagne sheets on top. Cover with ½ of the cooked pumpkin mix, ½ of the cottage cheese mixture, ½ of the spinach and then sprinkle with ⅓ of the cheese. Repeat the layers once more, and then end with a final layer pasta sheets on the top, a layer of the tomato sauce and the rest of the cheese. Ensure the top layer of pasta is touching liquid.
7. Cook until golden for about 35 minutes.
I am on the lookout for more vegetarian dishes...any favourites?
With Love, Kate