Last year I made a delicious pumpkin chicken curry for dinner. It was amazing. The spices from the curry powder really drowned out the pumpkin-y flavor. This year I thought I could do something similar but instead, mix it in with pasta. And that’s how curried pumpkin lasagna was created.
I have had butternut squash lasagna before, which I love, but since my sisters aren’t big fans of pumpkin (I know, how can that be?) I figured curry-ing it up would disguise the pumpkin flavor. Since pumpkin is technically a fruit, I decided to boost the vegetable content of the dish by adding some sautéed onions, mushrooms and spinach. If you can, purchase whole milk, fresh mozzarella cheese. You won’t regret it. I tried it for the first time and it just melts in your mouth.
#BeHealthy Tip: Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin A (or beta-carotene) providing more than the recommended daily value in a ½ -cup serving. Vitamin A is good for vision and maintaining cells in your body. It is low in calories and fat and a good source of potassium, offering 11% of your daily value in a 1-cup serving, and vitamin C. And, a ½ -cup serving offers a filling 3g of fiber.
Curried Pumpkin Lasagna
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
5 oz bag baby spinach, chopped
8 oz baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup white onion, diced
pinch of salt, to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese plus 2 tbsp, grated
1/8 tsp salt
Curried Pumpkin Beschemel Sauce:
5 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoon flour
3 cups 1% milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 ½ tsp curry powder
salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350oF
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in nonstick pot over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to form a thick paste. Add in milk slowly, 1 cup at a time, and whisk continuously to blend ingredients completely. Allow sauce to thicken a bit, and then lower temperature. Make sure to constantly stir the sauce in order to prevent clumps from forming. Once sauce is slightly thickened add pumpkin puree and curry powder. Sauce should become more thickened (should coat the back of a wooden spoon). Remove from heat and stir in salt (to taste).
- Spray a large nonstick skillet with liberal amount of cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and stir after 1 minute. Spray with additional cooking spray if mushrooms seem too dry. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms have browned, stirring occasionally. Remove into a bowl. In same skillet spray with cooking spray, add diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add spinach, ½ of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add mushrooms back into skillet. Mix well.
- In a bowl, combine ricotta, 1-cup mozzarella, ½ cup parmesan cheese, and the rest of the minced garlic. Add ¼ tsp salt and mix to combine.
- In a rectangle glass casserole pan, layer a spoonful of the curried béchamel sauce. Next, add a layer of 3 lasagna noodles to form the base. Spoon half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then ½ of the spinach mixture, and spoon the pumpkin cream sauce on top of the spinach. Repeat layers one more time. Add the final top layer of lasagna noodles. Spoon a few more servings of the pumpkin cream sauce then top with the rest of the mozzarella and 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.
- Heat in the oven for 40 minutes, until warmed all the way through and cheese is melted. Uncover foil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes to brown cheese.
- Remove from oven, let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.