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pumpkin lasagne
Pumpkin, Sage and Leek Lasagne

Fresh Fruit

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 1, 2013: Day 3 Recipes

Pumpkin, Sage and Leek Lasagne
Fresh Fruit

Cooking time:  60 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      You can use canned pumpkin for this, or any other winter squash (including pumpkin) that has been cooked and mashed.  I use fresh pumpkin from my garden, that I roast, package and freeze.  For directions see Pumpkin. 

Pumpkin Leek and Sage Lasagne                Preparation and cooking time: 60 minutes
 Pumpkin is not just for pies. It's a wonderful vegetable, and works well in a lot of savory dishes.  I use moist, deli ham in this lasagne.  I love the combination of ham, sage and winter squash.  You can leave the ham out for a vegetarian version.  The recipe was designed for using no-cook noodles.

1 onion
2 leeks
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 cup (8oz, 240gr) pumpkin
15 - 20 fresh sage leaves     substitute 2 tbs dried
8oz (240gr) baked ham, or equivalent  1 thick slice from the deli
1 tsp butter
1 cup (4oz, 120gr) shredded cheese Swiss, Gruyère, Emmenthal
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) flour,
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups (16oz, (480ml) milk
10 - 14 sheets 'no-cook' lasagna noodles
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) grated Parmesan 

Trim and wash leeks.  Thinly slice the onion and leeks.  Heat oil and butter in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions, leeks and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute.  Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium low and let the onions and leeks cook for 10 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to medium, continue to cook until onions are golden and tender, about 10 minutes longer.  Add the pumpkin, stir well to combine and heat through. 
Cut the ham into thin strips, then the strips into smaller squares.  In another skillet heat 1 tsp butter.  Add sage leaves and sauté until starting to get crisp.  Add ham, sauté until heated through and dry (it can give off a bit of water). 
Béchamel sauce: In a medium saucepan heat 3 tbs butter over low heat.  Add flour, nutmeg and stir with a whisk for 1 minute.  Add a little (1/4 cup) of the milk, whisk to combine.  Turn heat up to medium and keep adding milk, a little at a time and whisking.  You should have added all of the milk in a minute or 2.  When all of the milk is in, bring to a boil (should almost be there), whisking.  Then remove from heat. 

To assemble:  in a 10" (25cm) square baking dish, or 9 X 11 oblong, make the following layers:

1/3 béchamel sauce
2 - 3 noodles,  you may have to break a third one up to get good coverage 
1/2 onion, leek, pumpkin mixture
2 - 3 noodles  or so
1/3 béchamel sauce
all of the ham and sage
1/2 of the shredded cheese
2 - 3 noodles  or so
1/2 onion, leek, pumpkin mixture
2 - 3 noodles  or so
1/3 béchamel sauce
1/2 of the shredded cheese

Cover and bake 425F (215C) for 20 minutes, or until noodles are done.  Test in center with a sharp knife.  Uncover and bake 5 minutes longer to brown cheese.  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.  Cut into squares (or oblongs) and serve.

Fresh Fruit

Something seasonal - pears, perhaps?

Cooking Schedule: 60 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
whisk, medium saucepan, small skillet, medium skillet,
baking dish for lasagne, cheese grater

Turn oven on, 425F (215C)
Trim leeks, wash
Slice onions, leeks
Sauté onions, leeks in medium skillet
Melt 3 tbs butter in saucepan
Cover onions, leeks
Add flour, nutmeg to butter, whisk
Whisk in milk, continue until sauce is finished
Remove sauce from heat, set aside

Uncover onions, leeks
Cut ham
Sauté sage in small skillet
Add ham to sage, sauté
Add pumpkin to onion/leek, heat through
Grate Parmesan if needed
Assemble lasagne
Cover lasagne and bake
     20 minute break
Uncover lasagne, turn oven down to 375F (185C)
     Pour a glass of wine
Remove lasagne and let rest
Cut lasagne and serve
Don't forget the fruit

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