Pumpkin lasagna

Two months ago, I wrote about an amazing pumpkin lasagna that we Matthew made, wherein I promised a recipe “soon,” and left you hanging.  Soon has come and gone, but we recreated the lasagna for our New Year’s Eve meal, making [an almost] vegan version to accommodate my current dairy-free diet.

We originally made an only-slightly-adapted version, using some cashew butter, but retaining the cream and Parmesan cheese.  The recipe here is vegan, except for our homemade noodles, which contain eggs.  Once again, we benefited from having homegrown Swiss chard and squash prepped (from the deep freeze this time), as well as the noodles made up from a previous night.

Happy cooking and eating!

Pumpkin Lasagna
By Matthew
Adapted from Food & Wine

Ingredients (makes 8 very generous servings, or 12 smaller portions)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups onions, chopped
2 pounds Swiss chard, washed well and chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons sage
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 cups pumpkin (or any winter squash) puree (or two large cans)
9 amaretti cookies, crumbled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1  cup bread crumb topping (see recipe below)
1/2 cup cashew butter
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup soymilk
1 recipe homemade spelt pasta cut into angel ribbon lasagna (or 9 whole wheat no bake lasagna noodles)

In a large cast iron or nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the chard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 Tablespoon sage, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the chard is wilted and no liquid remains in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes.

Combine the cashew butter and warm water to create a cashew sauce.

Heat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, mix together 6 cups of the pumpkin, amaretti cookie crumbles, cashew sauce (from previous step), and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon, pepper, 1 Tablespoon sage, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

Pour the soymilk into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top the soymilk with one
third of the noodles, then spread 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture over the noodles. Layer half the Swiss chard over the pumpkin and top with a second layer of noodles. Repeat with another layer of pumpkin, Swiss chard, and noodles.

Spread the remaining pumpkin mixture evenly over the top of the lasagne, and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping.  Cover with a cookie sheet on a higher oven rack and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more. Let cool, to set up, for 10 minutes before cutting.

Bread crumb topping
I created this topping as a substitute for the Parmesan cheese in the original recipe.  It came out quite well.

2/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 c. wheat germ
1/3 c. nutritional yeast
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/3 c. vegan butter substitute, like Earth Balance

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Use a pastry blender to cut in the Earth Balance, creating a crumbly mixture that you can sprinkle on top of the lasagna.