This gorgeous lasagna has layers of beautiful purple pasta, creamy, earthy sage bechamel, sweet roasted pumpkin, spinach and caramelized onions. It makes a rich and satisfying vegetarian entree or can, alternatively, be served in small pieces as a pasta course. It takes a long time to prepare, but is well worth it. In the absence of time or interest in making fresh beet pasta, use regular fresh or dried lasagna noodles.
1 recipe beet pasta dough (dough only)
1/8 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
1 lb spinach, cleaned and chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 pint heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9"x12" lasagna pan. Set aside.
Using a floured rolling pin and knife or a pasta machine, roll dough into about 20 strips that are 12" long and 3 1/2" wide. Dust lightly with flour to keep them from sticking. Set aside.
To make the sage bechamel, melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir in flour and whisk 2-3 minutes until a sticky dough forms. Gradually add cream and whisk constantly until a thick white sauce forms, ensuring there are no lumps. Stir in sage and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may need to thin it out with a little water if sauce becomes too thick. When sauce is the consistency of Alfredo sauce, remove from heat, whisking periodically to avoid congealing.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and stir to coat evenly in oil. Reduce heat to medium low and allow onions to caramelize, stirring very occasionally (this should take 10-15 minutes). When onions are soft, remove from heat and transfer to a plate. Return frying pan to the stove, but do not clean it. Add spinach bit by bit until it has wilted. Drain excess liquid from pan and transfer cooked spinach to a plate.
To prepare the lasagna, spoon about 1/4 cup bechamel in the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spoon more bechamel over the noodles and scatter the caramelized onions and a sprinkle of salt and pepper over the bechamel. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup cheese over the onions and cover with a layer of noodles. Top noodles with more bechamel and the pumpkin, along with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Top noodles with more bechamel and the spinach, along with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper and 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with more noodles, a thin layer of bechamel and the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover entire lasagna tightly with foil.
Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Cook, uncovered, for the remaining 10 minutes, or however long it takes to achieve a bubbly, lightly browned top.
Allow to cool 10-12 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog's editor-in-chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough:100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes.
The original print version of this article was headlined "BrokeAss Gourmet"