Use either “sugar baby” pumpkins or butternut squash for this recipe. The larger kind, used for jack-o’-lanterns, are not very flavorful, and are intended mostly for decoration. If you find Mexican pumpkin, called calabaza, use it.
Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 1 lb. lasagna noodles
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1 small pumpkin (3 lbs.)
- 1⁄4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- 2 lbs. ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 1 1⁄4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook lasagna according to directions on box (it’s best to undercook a little). Rinse and drain. Toss with a drop of olive oil. Set aside. Refill pasta pot with 3 quarts water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil.
- Peel pumpkin, discard seeds, and cube into bite-size pieces. Boil pumpkin pieces 15 minutes, until tender, in salted water. Drain, and toss with crushed pepper, nutmeg, and thyme. Mash with a potato masher. Set aside.
- Mix the ricotta, egg, spinach and 1 cup Parmesan together.
- Assemble the lasagna in layers, starting with noodles, then the ricotta mixture, then the pumpkin mixture. Make 2 more layers, making sure to save unbroken lasagna for the top layer. Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 30 minutes at 400°F until brown and bubbling on top. Let rest 15 minutes, then top with remaining Parmesan cheese.