Saturday, 12 November 2011

Recipe - Pumpkin Lasagne

I had a conversation/argument with my friend the other day as I was making dahl. He just couldn't fathom why I would put so much time and effort (except not really that much effort) into cooking for so little reward. I tried to explain that I actually enjoy the process so the 'effort' is its own reward but I was still met with a blank face of no-comprehension. It just puts me in a really good mood and also passes the time. Good moods and time are essential ingredients (ha ha ha) for patching up a fight. Which brings me to the other strand of this story: a friend I'd had a minor falling out with earlier in the week was visiting. I was offended that they didn't invite me to their graduation and instead invited someone (who is much less close to them) who never once visited them at university. Indeed, the one time they had planned to, they 'accidentally' gambled the train fare money betting on a horse which was 'sure to win'. I was so fucked off that I was close to posting on here. Also this is the point where I pray that Graduate only pretends to read this and Gambler never stumbles upon it. We've had a tempestuous relationship and many cunning devices have been dreamt up to make us get past a fight. The most enjoyable has been playing a variation on Articulate with just the two of us. But I'd left my Articulate elsewhere so that wasn't an option.  So instead, we cooked lasagne in a pumpkin! Hurrah.

I adapted this recipe. Also I laughed for a long time at the pun in the blog title.

Pumpkin Lasagne (a tribute to Halloween)
1 large pumpkin
Cayenne pepper

20g butter
Half a large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
10 button mushrooms, quartered
A small bunch of thyme (probably about 6 sprigs)
A glass of white wine

25g butter
25g flour
150ml whole milk

10 lasagne sheets, pre-cooked
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 courgette, thinly sliced

Cut the top off the pumpkin. Hollow out the seeds. Sprinkle the insides with a light coating of nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Stick in a hot oven (220) for about 50 minutes or until the flesh if soft and easily scooped out. Once done, scoop out the flesh (leaving enough for the pumpkin walls not to collapse)
Meanwhile, melt 20g of butter in a frying pan.
Add the onions, fry for a minute. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine and thyme and bring to a slow simmer until mushrooms are soft.
Take off the heat. Add pumpkin flesh to the mushroom mixture and season well with salt and pepper.

In another frying pan, melt the 25g of butter.
Once melted, add the flour and stir to combine quickly.
On a low heat, add the milk slowly, stirring/whisking continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Season well with salt and pepper.

Cook the lasagne sheets for 10 minutes in salted boiling water. This was hell since we only remembered to put a little oil in the water when it was too late.

Assemble the lasagne: lasagne sheet - white sauce - cheese - courgette - pumpkin/mushroom mixture until the pumpkin is full. On the last layer, add another lasagne sheet, then some white sauce and cheese on top.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

This recipe fed two for dinner. The next day for lunch, we scooped out the remaining pumpkin lasagne and chopped the lasagne sheets into realllly fat tagliatelle. Then we boiled a little more pasta, fried another half onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a handful of cherry tomatoes then combined the tomato mixture, pasta, leftover lasagne and a dollop of pesto. This was (I think) more delicious than the original lasagne.

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