RECIPE

Pumpkin Lovers’ Lasagna


Photo by Frances Janisch

My favorite season: fall. My favorite flavor: pumpkin. One of my all-time favorite dishes: lasagna. Need I say more?

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 head escarole, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 10 to 12 leaves sage, torn
  • 1 pound butternut squash or sugar pumpkin, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 (9-ounce) box no-boil, oven ready lasagna sheets, soaked in warm water for 5 minuttes
  • 3/4 pound Italian Fontina, Fontina Val d’Aosta, or Gouda cheese shredded
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Preparation

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water and add the escarole. Cook for 5 minutes, drain, and reserve.

In a small saucepan, cover the garlic cloves with water and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Squish them out of their skins and mash with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a deep, wide skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sage. Add the butternut squash in one layer and stir to coat with the butter; season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock is absorbed and the squash is lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.

[If making this to serve on Cook Day, preheat the oven to 375ºF. If making this to serve later in the week, you’ll preheat the oven on the night of.]

In another medium saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and mashed garlic. Season with salt, pepper and a few grates of nutmeg. Thicken slightly; the sauce should just very lightly coat the back of a spoon.

In a bowl, stir together 2 of the eggs and the pumpkin puree; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1 egg, the ricotta, and 1 cup of the Parm.

Pour about half the garlic sauce into the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or lasagna pan and begin to build the lasagna. Layer in 3 lasagna sheets, half of the pumpkin mixture, 3 lasagna sheets, all of the ricotta mixture, the butternut squash, and escarole. Top with half the Fontina, 3 lasanga sheets, the remaining pumpkin, 4 lasagna sheets (overlapping), then the remainder of the garlic sauce, remaining Fontina, and remaining Parm.

[Make-ahead: Let cool and refrigerate.]

[Night-of: Return the lasagna to room temp while you preheat the oven to 375ºF.]

Bake for 45 minutes (or up to 1 hour, covered, if the lasagna is still cold.) Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF and bake for 15 minutes (uncover if it was covered) to brown the cheese. Let rest for 15 minutes, cut, and serve.

This is one of many recipes from Rachael’s newest book, WEEK IN A DAY, which offers more than 200 recipes that will help you prepare five nights’ worth of meals in a single day. Click here to learn more.

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