I’ve enjoyed pumpkin filled ravioli before but I’ve never tried it in lasagna. Toasted walnuts and fresh sage leaves are a wonderful addition and the resulting dish is just perfect for a dinner party on that first frosty night in October. Don’t let the numerous steps throw you off, it’s really quite easy and once you have the filling and the béchamel sauce made the whole thing assembles quickly.
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Pumpkin, Prosciutto and Parmesan Lasagna
½ Cup butter
6 leeks, trimmed, rinsed and sliced
4 cups pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
½ cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup butter
6 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
2 cups light cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ pounds lasagna noodles, cooked al dente and drained
8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, torn into pieces
1 ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups walnut pieces, lightly toasted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 15×10 inch baking dish or use two 9×12 pans. I made one to enjoy now and one to put in the freezer.
Prepare the pumpkin filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the leeks. Sauté the leeks until very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and wine and cook for 2 minutes. Removed from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Prepare the béchamel: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring for one minute and then gradually add the chicken broth, then the light cream. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir ½ cup of the hot sauce into the beaten eggs in a small bowl and then stir the egg mixture into the remaining sauce. Cook a few more minutes and then remove from the heat.
To assemble: Make a layer of lasagna noodles in the prepared baking dish. Top with ½ of the sliced prosciutto and 1/3 of the béchamel. Scatter half of the sage leaves. Cover with another layer of noodles, all the pumpkin filling, 1 cup of the Parmesan and 1 cup of the walnuts. Make another layer of the noodles and top with the rest of the prosciutto, another 1/3 of the béchamel and the remaining sage. Make a final layer of noodles and top with the remaining béchamel, walnuts and Parmesan.