Call me a pessimist… call me a stick-in-the-mud… call me “not one of the cool kids.” I can take it! And I probably deserve it for what I’m about to say.
I’m already tired of all the pumpkin hype.
I realize it’s only mid-September, but already my Pinterest feed has blown up with pumpkin! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin face masks, pumpkin coffee creamer… Don’t get me wrong, I reeeeally like pumpkin. But in my coffee? No thanks. In my chocolate chip cookies? I’ll pass.
I love dishes that feature pumpkin and bring out its delicate nutty sweetness. But gosh dernit, if a food ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it by adding pumpkin!
I’ll end my rant with a simple plea… don’t be a pumpkin pimp this Holiday season. Use it judiciously and thoughtfully where it makes sense.
Here’s a great example! This lasagna is surprisingly delightful. And finally a dish where pumpkin plays a starring savory role instead of sweet!
Paired with thyme, sage, and nutty melted Swiss cheese… this is such a cozy dish for Fall. And as a nice bonus, it is meatless! I have a number of vegetarian (AND meat-eating) friends who I know will LOVE this dish. And though I’m not a vegetarian myself, I gobbled it up with gusto. (To be honest, I literally licked my plate clean so that none of that amazing pumpkin cream sauce would go to waste.)
Bella mushrooms add a nice heartiness to this dish to make it filling and packed with protein. I truly hope you give in to your adventurous side and try it soon.
Oh, and real quick… have you ever tried making your own pumpkin puree? I realize that making ingredients is another class of cooking entirely and not everyone is up for it. But if you think you might be, I highly recommend it (if only to avoid throwing away all those pumpkins you buy for your porch!) You do need a large and very sharp knife, but it is well worthwhile to use your Fall pumpkins to make a bunch of pumpkin puree and freeze it. I’m always astonished by the price of canned pumpkin. (And NOT in a good way.)
Of course, canned pumpkin puree will work just fine for this lasagna. Here’s the recipe:
½ lb baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp salt, divided
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
½ C. half-and-half
½ tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. pepper
Lasagna noodles (enough to fill your pan in three layers, boiled til “half-done”, or alternatively you can purchase “No-boil” noodles)
1 ½ C. ricotta cheese
1 ½ C. grated Swiss cheese
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion , & 1/2 teaspoon salt in the olive oil until tender. Add in the garlic powder during the last minute of cooking. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, half-and-half, sage, thyme, pepper and remaining salt.
Preheat the oven to 375, and spray an 11”x7” glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 Cup of the pumpkin sauce in the dish. Top with enough noodles to cover the pan. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with 1/3 of mushroom mixture, 1/3 of the ricotta, 1/3 of the Swiss, and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Repeat layers two more times beginning with noodles. Sprinkle a few thyme leaves over the top layer of cheese.
Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes, uncovering during the last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
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