I know, I know. It sounds weird.
But guess what? This was absolutely delicious.
Or says the husband who would eat steak at every meal if he had the option.
I’m a big fan of winter squash and cook it often but I tend to stick to butternut, spaghetti or acorn squash. I don’t know why it never occurs to me to roast a pumpkin. I suppose because its so easily available in the canned section of my local grocery store. It’s a shame though because the pumpkin that I cooked a few days back is no match for what comes in the can. If you’ve never cooked pumpkin, I suggest you get on it people. It’s nothing like the canned stuff. Here is a great photo tutorial if you’re new to cooking pumpkin.
This is the perfect meal for the changing seasons. The lasagna screams fall with the pumpkin and kale but I also used the last of the summer produce with some fresh roma tomatoes, some sweet red onion and garlic I picked up at the farmers market. I really wanted to highlight each ingredient so I kept the seasoning to a minimal. And instead of making a traditional marinara, I made more of a salsa type sauce by slicing the onions and keeping the skins on the roughly diced tomatoes.
I’m a fan of the easy dish. But then again, aren’t we all? So in all fairness, here’s my disclaimer. This lasagna involves more prep time than the average casserole. I will say, however, that each step is super simple and once you have all the vegetables prepped, the lasagna comes together in a snap. It’s a great meal for making ahead and it also freezes really well. (We will be having the other half of this for dinner one night next week!)
Admittedly a strange combination but the ingredients just work so well together. When you combine the sweetness of the pumpkin, the earthiness of the kale, the freshness of the tomatoes, the creaminess of the ricotta and smokiness of the provolone you end up with a vegetarian casserole that is filling, tasty and comforting.
A total win if you ask me!
Roast Pumpkin and Kale Lasagna
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8-10 roma tomtatoes, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups cooked, mashed, pumpkin puree
- 1 lb. kale, ribs removed and washed
- 8 oz no bake lasagna noodles
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
If you haven’t already, cook the pumpkin. You can do that by either roasting in the oven or steaming in the microwave. This can be done up to a few days ahead. Reserve 4 cups and set aside. To make the sauce, combine the sliced onion and olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Cook onions for 10 minutes until soft. Add garlic and stir one minute more. Add diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Remove sauce from heat to cool while you prepare the other parts of the lasagna. In a steam basket or microwave, steam kale for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Transfer kale to cutting board and finely chop. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna. Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Put about 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of pan. Line with 3 no bake lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture onto of the noodles. Next, spread a 1/3 of the pumpkin, followed by 1/3 of the kale, 1/3 of the tomato sauce and 1/3 of the provolone cheese. Repeat with two more layers using the rest of the lasagna ingredients. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting slicing and serving.