Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagne; a simple layered pumpkin, spinach, ricotta and tomato pasta bake with an easy, but delicious tomato sauce. With no béchamel sauce, this is an easy and healthier alternative to the traditional lasagne.
There is something about winter that makes me say ‘I can’t be bothered’ with everything…
Gym? Can’t be bothered…
Hanging out the washing? Can’t be bothered…
Washing the car? DEFINITELY can’t be bothered… it is way too cold for that.
In fact, the only things I CAN be bothered with is cooking (eating 😉 ) and blogging… probably because both involve trackie pants (okay… pyjamas) ugg boots… and my favourite (can’t live without) winter accessory, the heater.
I guess for those who live where it actually gets really cold, I am a bit of a whinger – I’ll take that on board. But I am just not built for the cold. That actually isn’t too far from the truth, I can thank my Hungarian side of the family for my lack of circulation. I swear the blood has a hard time making its way to my fingers.
Off track, but I often find myself in winter thinking about how I would survive in the olden days. You know, the days without central heating… actually, my grandma doesn’t have central heating and the bathroom may as well be outside- it’s not, but it almost is and is sure feels like it. I actually find myself restricting any water in take after about 2pm, just because I don’t want to go in the cold. I struggle enough when there is a morning frost… I don’t know what I’d do if it snowed. I’d probably have to hibernate for a few months.
So with the crisp winter air upon us… one way to warm up is with delicious, hot meals and this is fast becoming an easy favourite (in fact, I have it cooking at we speak!)
So, what is one way you heat up in winter? Are you like me and find the cold literally freezes you and your motivation?
I’d love to hear from you!
For those following the house hunt. No luck yet. One place was in the most beautiful place… birds singing, rosellas in the trees, no traffic noises- nothing but the sound of the wind through the trees. The house? A complete renovators delight. In fact, scrap that. The only way I could see past it would be to detonate- I swear if you sat on the ground in one room, you’d slide straight into the next one. No need to take the kids to the park! This place had an indoor slide!!
The area was lovely, the block of land huge and the garden lots of potential. The skills needed to turn it into a gem? Not held by either of us! Next…!!
- Olive oil for cooking
- 1.5 kg pumpkin - peeled and diced into 1- 1.5 cm cubes
- Pinch of garlic salt
- Pepper to taste
- 450 grams low fat ricotta
- 150 grams fresh baby spinach leaves
- 250 grams dry lasagne sheets
- 2 large brown onions- diced
- 2 cloves of garlic- crushed
- 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 500 gram jar passata
- 400 gram tinned tomatoes (diced or crushed)
- 1 teaspoon each of dried: parsley, basil and oregano
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of powdered fennel seeds
- 2 large dried bay leaves
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste.
- optional- a teaspoon of sugar (depends on your passata)
- Extra ricotta or tasty cheese to sprinkle on top before baking
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Peel and dice pumpkin into small cubes and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle garlic salt and pepper.
- Bake pumpkin in the oven until soft. Approximately 30-40 mins, depending on the size of the pumpkin.
- In a large saucepan on a low-medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil and add the onions. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the paprika and take the saucepan off the heat so the paprika doesn't burn. Stir well to mix the paprika through the onions and then add the passata and tinned tomatoes. Stir and place back on the heat.
- Add the dried herbs, water, bay leaves and stir. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste (optional- a teaspoon of sugar)- this will depend on your passata.
- Meanwhile, once the pumpkin is cooked take it from the oven and place in a medium to large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper. Use a stick blender or a fork to break up pumpkin and mix with the cheese to form a smooth consistency with the cheese.
- Once the pumpkin and tomato sauce are ready, it is time to assemble.
- In a medium-large baking dish start by laying a layer of pasta sheets, then tomato sauce, pumpkin cheese mixture and then spinach leaves. Repeat these layers at least once more. The last layer should be pasta sheets, followed by a layer of the pumpkin cheese mix. Top with more ricotta or grated cheese if desired.
- Place in a oven preheated to 180 degrees and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cheese has melted and the pasta is cooked (according to the directions on packet)
- Store any left overs in a sealed container in the fridge