Mariel here. A sudden 20-degree drop in the temperature left me craving something a little warmer, a little heartier, a little autumn-ier. While I initially planned on making savory pumpkin ricotta pancakes – I’ll never grow out of breakfast for dinner – I got sidetracked by the pasta aisle. Pumpkin Ravioli happens to be one of my all-time favorite restaurant orders, but since I’m too timid (and too space-constrained) to try from-scratch rav-making, I decided to take a stab at a pumpkin-packed lasagna instead.
I apologize in advance for bragging, but this recipe is outrageously good. While it’s not the prettiest dish, this lasagna handily captures the cheesy, gooey goodness that’s usually hidden inside of a ravioli and puts it all out there for the world to see. It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s absolutely delightful. Although it’s not exactly Weight Watchers approved, I made it as light as humanly possible by using lower-fat alternatives without skimping on flavor. Serve this alongside a crisp green salad and you’ve got dinner for a week for under 20 bucks.
Looking for a more traditional lasagna? We’ve got that here.
Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagna
Note: Do not pre-cook the lasagna noodles. They’ll cook in the oven once everything is layered. This way, they’re a bit more al dente and will give the dish better “bones.”
Ingredients for Lasagna:
12 whole wheat uncooked lasagna sheets (7×3.5 inches each) – $2.39
1 onion, chopped coarsely – $0.79
29-oz can of 100% pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) – $2.50
30-oz part skim ricotta – $6.00
2 teaspoons minced garlic – stock
1 cup chopped walnuts – stock
1/2 cup mozzarella – $2.79
1 cup grated parmesan – $3.00
1 Tablespoon white wine – stock
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme $1.49
1/4 teaspoon dried sage – stock
1 teaspoon brown sugar – stock
1/4 teaspoon salt – stock
Salt and pepper to taste – stock
1 teaspoon olive oil – stock
Ingredients for White Sauce:
1 teaspoon minced garlic – stock
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter – stock
5 Tablespoons flour – stock
4 cups low-fat milk – stock
Pinch of nutmeg- stock
1/4 teaspoon salt – stock
1/8 teaspoon pepper – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $18.96
Cost per serving: $1.58
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a heavy skillet, cook onion and 2 teaspoons minced garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil over high heat stirring frequently. After 5 minutes, add the white wine and reduce heat to medium-low. Saute for an additional 10 minutes or until the onions have become translucent and the wine has cooked off. Remove from heat and toss with the chopped walnuts.
3. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, begin making the white sauce. Over low heat, cook 1 teaspoon of garlic in butter for about a minute. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add the milk slowly while whisking continuously (or often enough that the flour and butter does not clump along the bottom of the pan). Bring to a gentle boil then reduce heat, add the nutmeg and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in the salt and pepper and remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, ricotta, thyme, sugar, sage, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Combine well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
5. In a small bowl, combine the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
6. Spray a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with Pam (or a nonstick cooking spray). Spread 2/3-cup of white sauce along the bottom, then cover with four uncooked lasagna sheets (they’ll arch up the sides a bit, that’s OK). Then spread the sheets with 3/4-cup of white sauce, a third of the pumpkin mixture, a third of the onion mixture, then a third of the parmesan mixture. Add a layer of lasagna sheets and repeat the order twice ending with the remaining parmesan and white sauce.
7. Spray a large piece of tinfoil with Pam and cover the baking dish tightly. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil then bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving (this is a necessary – albeit torturous – step).