To prepare the filling: Cut pumpkin or squash into large pieces. Remove seeds and membranes but leave the skins on. Put into a baking dish with ½ cup water and cover...
– 3-pound sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
– ½ cup water
– ½ cup bread crumbs
– ½ cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
– ¾ cup dry red wine
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
– 2 teaspoons honey
– 1¼ cups vegetable broth, divided
– ½ teaspoon salt
– Freshly ground black pepper to taste
– ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
– 1¼ cups grated Romano cheese, divided
– Nonstick cooking spray
– 6 sheets (about 7-by-7-inches) instant lasagna noodles
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– 3 cups milk, heated (low-fat can be used)
– 4 tablespoons butter
– ½ cup finely chopped onion
– 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
– 4 tablespoons flour
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. To prepare the filling: Cut pumpkin or squash into large pieces. Remove seeds and membranes but leave the skins on. Put into a baking dish with ½ cup water and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 40 to 50 minutes, or until very tender. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Scrape pulp into a bowl, mashing coarsely.
2. While the pumpkin is cooking, put bread crumbs into a dry skillet and toast over medium heat for a few minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan and combine with the chopped almonds. Set aside.
3. In the same skillet, combine the wine, sage and honey. Boil a few minutes until reduced to ¼ cup. Add to pumpkin with ½ cup vegetable broth, salt, pepper and parsley, stirring well to combine. Set aside.
4. To prepare the sauce: Heat milk in a saucepan. In another large saucepan, melt butter. Add onions and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, salt, nutmeg and cayenne, stirring well; cook 1 minute. Whisk in hot milk and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. To assemble: Spray a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup of the vegetable broth into the pan and lay 2 lasagna sheets, overlapping slightly, in the pan. Spread half of pumpkin filling on top; sprinkle with half of almond-bread crumb mixture and ¼ cup grated cheese. Repeat layers, beginning with 2 overlapping lasagna sheets. Spread with remaining pumpkin filling and almond mixture and another ¼ cup cheese. Layer the final 2 lasagna sheets in the pan. Pour the remaining ½ cup broth over the noodles and down the sides of the dish. Spread sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. (The dish can be made 24 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator; remove 30 minutes before cooking.)
6. Bake, covered, in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
Adapted from “The Vegetarian Feast” by Martha Rose Shulman.