This weekend I tackled a very large kabocha pumpkin that had grace my festive fall table décor. I decide to make this very elegant but easy vegetarian main dish. I served it at a friend’s 60th birthday party last Sunday and it was a hit. It’s definitely not low calorie but so delicious that I think the cream is warranted. I was going to make a batch of batch of fresh lasagna noodles but found an 8 oz package of fresh Italian noodles at the Grocery Outlet. No boil lasagna noodles could be used but the texture will be more chewy, and not as creamy. If you don’t have a pumpkin to steam and puree, you could used butternut squash or acorn squash, or in a pinch a 28oz can of pumpkin. After removing the ribs from the Swiss Chard, chopped these ribs finely and sautéed them with onions and before adding the chopped chard leaves. Two pounds of chard is quite a lot but it does cook down, so sauté it all even if you need to do it in batches. If you do not have Swiss chard, you can substitute Russian Red Kale or spinach. Make sure you have large enough pan, I suggest 9 x 13 x 2.
Swiss Chard and Pumpkin Lasagna
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 pounds Swiss chard, tough ribs/stems removed and chopped fine, leaves washed well and roughed chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups pureed pumpkin OR one 28-ounce can of pureed pumpkin)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1/2 cup milk
Fresh lasagna noodles , about 8 oz, OR 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
- In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions, chards stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the chard leaves , 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the chard is wilted and no liquid remains in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350°.
- In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups of the pumpkin, 3/4 cup cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
- Pour the milk into an 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top the milk with one third of the noodles, then spread half 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.
- Combine the remaining 1 cup of pumpkin and 3/4 cup of cream. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the lasagna, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes more.