Thursday, 4 December 2014

Punkin' Rockin' Good!

Lasagna alla Zucca
Pumpkin Lasagna


Imagine this... it is Thursday evening, you are almost at the end of the week and almost out of stuff in the fridge to make dinner. If you have got a half of a little, grapefruit-sized pumpkin, a few cherry tomatoes- and precious little else left... are you doomed to have to eat yet another soup?

Hell no! Why would you go and do that... when you could do something like THIS here, instead?


There wasn't really that much more work involved in making this incredible lasagna, than in making a soup... it just took a little patience for it to bake in the oven for 45 minutes- but it sure was worth the wait!


So, being a master of improvisation, to my pumpkin, I added 1 red pepper, 10 cherry tomatoes, 1 shallot, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 Mozzarella cheese, 1 handful of finely chopped bacon, a little rosemary, a little basil, 3-4 cups of milk and some Parmesan for grating... that and 4 sheets of lasagna and I was ready to go!


Those few ingredients made for 2 restaurant-sized serving... but hey! I never eat anything but a few pieces of fruit during the daytime... so sure- I ate the lot! And I am proud of it too! Hehe!


I have to admit- it turned out even better than I thought it would! And the cool thing is that it is a lot quicker to make than the usual lasagna and a lot "lighter" too, having no ground meat, butter or flour based Bechamel sauce, or excessive cheese- but still with all of the good flavor... let me show you how!


First things first- I cut 4-5 very thin slices from the pumpkin before grating the rest- these were to use as a decorative finish later. Other than that, all I needed to do was finely dice the shallot and the pepper and I had all that I needed to get started with...


I began by frying the shallot and pepper together with the finely chopped bacon, until the bacon began to brown slightly and the shallot became translucent. I then added the grated pumpkin and seasoned with salt and pepper.


Once the pumpkin had softened up a little, I added toe tomato paste, some chopped basil, a good splash of milk and plenty of nutmeg- and gave everything a good stir!


I kept stirring and adding milk and tomato paste as necessary, until I had a nice, thick, delicious sauce- reminiscent of a Bechamel because of the nutmeg, mild because of the milk- and delicious, because of everything else!

Next, I turned on the oven to maximum heat and began to build up my layers of lasagna... adding plenty of the sauce, some thinly diced cherry tomato, Mozzarella, Parmesan, nutmeg and pepper on each layer.


Once I had my 4 layers stacked up, I added sauce and mozzarella to the top layer, then placed my pumpkin slices decoratively on top of that. I added cherry tomato slices here and there, plenty more Parmesan, pepper and nutmeg and then loosely covered the lasagne in aluminum foil before placing it into the hot oven for 20-25 minutes at 200°C.

After 25 minutes, I removed the foil and put it back into the oven for a further 20-25 minutes, until the topping was toasted and delicious... and it really was delicious!


Nope- I really don't think there is that much that needs to be added to this photo! Haha!


A pleasant t change from the regular-old lasagna- a lot easier to make and maybe a new favorite for you to discover... but you will never find out until you try!

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