Talk about leaving things to the last minute!! I cooked this one on the final day of winter & the deadline for the August Challenge.
Well, this one is almost perfect. To be honest, I didn’t really read the recipe when I chose it as one for the challenge. I saw roasted pumpkin & as I still have a pumpkin from last year’s harvest, I was sold. I did a double & triple take when it actually came to cook it as it was 1) not like the lasagne (lasagna?) I would normally cook (no bechamel sauce, no bolognese sauce), and 2) it was spectacularly simple in construction. The minimal pasta layers threw me, but I was suitably dazzled by a cheese-dominating dish. MmmmMMmmm… Cheese…
So if there’s no bechamel, what is there to satisfy the cheese-need? Feta & ricotta. I’m not typically a ricotta fan, especially the low fat stuff. I find it a bit dry. But the feta added some power of flavour to back it up. I also had about 100g of mascarpone cheese and a couple of tablespoons of cream that needed using. The feta-ricotta combo was too thick for me to smooth out on the vegies, and those helped. As did a little dash of milk to loosen it a little more. Some sage stopped it from being a bland low-fat-cheese disaster.
There were only two layers of pasta. This was both a concern (as a carb lover) and a stroke of brilliance. The lasagne sat lighter after the meal than regular ones do. This is possibly a function of not at all being a ‘normal’ lasagne, but I’m gonna play the ‘less carbs’ card. Or maybe it was the refreshing lemon zest on top. That’s roght. You heard me. Lemon zest on lasagne. The world has offically gone topsy turvy. But the madness works. I nearly forgot about zesting my lemon until I was ready to cook, but I think the dish would have been lacking without it.
I will be making this again, mostly because I have over 3/4 of the pumpkin to use. But the next will be loaded out with minimum of twice the roasted pumpkin & tomatoes. My amazing home grown pumpkin was a little lost in the cheese. I’d get a little taste, but quick like a bunny, it was gone. I will even make an effort to find the bag of pepitas I bought for the recipe, which I’ve lost in the abyss of my pantry. I toasted some pinenuts instead – they’re good with any pasta (or salad. Free tip, there).
In concluding this month’s challenge, I will start a new ‘challenge page’ to be updated each month with the new month’s challenges.