Saturday, August 3, 2013

PUMPKIN, WALNUT, AND SAGE LASAGNA (with a side of massaged kale)




This is the third time I've made this. Next time I'm going to double the "Alfredo" sauce. It's really a béchamel sauce with some sage, not that it really matters.

The first time I made this it was Canadian Thanksgiving. I was living in the US with a woman from Spain, and we had decided to make it a big dinner and invite a bunch of people over. It was a success. We also spent American Thanksgiving at a friends, and they had all the usual Thanksgiving fair. A year later, I had moved to a new place but hosted Canadian Thanksgiving again. I invited my Spanish friend,  and she was so confused by the food. I had a seitan roast and stuffing and vegetables. She was like, "where is the lasagna?" Because she thought Canadians ate lasagna for Thanksgiving as a tradition from our forefathers. And now I think of this as my Thanksgiving lasagna. It's all wholesome, cozy fall feelings. 



Massaged kale:

Kale (it's best if they are smaller, younger leaves)
Olive oil or coconut oil, about 1 Tb, but it depends on how much kale you have.
Lemon juice (optional - I used about a tsp of lemon juice)
Salt (I prefer smoked salt)

I also sometimes use toasted sesame oil, a tsp of miso, and a little soy sauce, and then sprinkle it with sesame seeds at the end. That's really the best. The kale at the farmer's market today was perfect for this sort of thing.

Directions:
Wash the kale and break into pieces.   Sprinkle with oil. If you're using a more solid fat, like coconut oil, just break it up into pieces. It will disperse as you massage the kale. Then you really do just massage it pretty vigorously for a while. I find it relaxing, so I'll do it for ages. Just grab handfuls and rub the leaves together. The leaves should change color to be brighter. Sprinkle with salt and let it rest while you make the lasagna.



Lasagna:

The recipe is essentially this one from vegan dad: http://vegandad.blogspot.co.nz/2008/10/roasted-pumpkin-and-walnut-manacotti.html

Instead of manicotti I use lasagna (obvs). I made the pasta fresh using a pasta maker. I like using fresh noodles because they cook nicely with the pumpkin and soak up any extra liquid while it's baking. It also looks nicer as lasagna than manicotti, IMO. To make the filling, I used two medium sized pumpkins I bought at the farmers market. They worked perfectly. I saved the seeds and roasted them afterwards. After I made the béchamel sauce and the filling, I alternated layers of the pasta and pumpkin filling and put the béchamel on top, and then baked it for 45 minutes at 200.

It was really good.

I also roasted the seeds. They were *ok*



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