This is a really delicious, creamy vegetarian option to a beef lasagna. It is filling and sustaining and also packed with nutrients that will help meet all your bodies needs. A dish packed with anti-oxidants that can help keep your family healthy, protecting their body from damage by free radicals. The pumpkin is also good source of fiber and is high in vitamin A essential for vision and also needed for a healthy immune system. The pumpkin and spinach also contain iron and the vitamin C in the tomatoes should aid it’s absorption although because the ricotta contains calcium the iron absorption may be compromised, try and also follow with a serving of vitamin C.
650g pumpkin or butternut squash
250g frozen spinach
1 – 1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
5-6 lasagna sheets
50g parmesan cheese to grate on top
200g Passata or homemade tomato sauce
150g dried mixed beans or lentils (optional) *
If using the beans soak overnight or for at least 6 hours and then boil for about 1 hour until soft and tender or cook the lentils for about 45 minutes in water until soft.
Place the pumpkin (skin, seeds and all) on a baking tray and roast for 1 1/2 at 180’C until soft and caramelized. Once it is roasted peel of the skin, scoop out the seeds and slice thinly ready to use in the lasagna.
Defrost the spinach in a saucepan with a little water. Once fully defrosted drain in a sieve squeezing out the water and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.
Combine the ricotta and the egg until totally smooth (season with salt and pepper if desired).
Stir the cooked beans through the tomato sauce.
Assemble the lasagna in a baking dish. Place half the pumpkin in the bottom followed by a layer of tomato sauce then a layer of lasagna sheets broken to fit the dish exactly. Top this with a half the ricotta and all of the spinach followed by another layer of lasagna sheets. Top this with the rest of the pumpkin followed by a layer of tomato sauce then a final layer of lasagna sheets. Cover the top with the remaining ricotta and grate the parmesan over the top.
Cook in the oven at 180 ‘C for 40 minutes until the top is golden and the lasagna is bubbling.
* The beans make the dish more filling and add to the protein if you are not going meat free shredded chicken would work well too.