Ferret Herder (ferret_herder) wrote in sdmbcooks,
Ferret Herder

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Wolfgang Puck's Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagna

A couple months back, the Chicago Tribune had a recipe from Wolfgang Puck that turned out to be to die for. In the full article (couldn't find the Tribune link, this is another site) he talks about how homemade pumpkin ravioli with a creamy sauce is delicious but time-consuming to make, and so this was his make-at-home compromise version. I finally made it and was impressed. Yummy white sauce with very light pumpkin-associated spices, very savory and delicious. It's even been great frozen and then reheated.

Important - buy canned pumpkin puree (i.e., unspiced), not pumpkin pie filling. You will be adding a hint of nutmeg, but not nearly as much spicing as the pie filling has.

Issues I ran into:

* I bought the typical one pound box of the ridged/curly edged lasagna, and found that I had about half the box left over at the end. I probably should have suspected as much, when I read that you should be able to lay all of your noodles out on a greased baking sheet without any overlap (uh, no). Maybe the boxes of the flat lasagna noodles also have thicker (and thus fewer) noodles in a pound, I'm not sure. The common curly-edged ones typically take up one-third of a 9x13" pan, laid lengthwise, so you'll need 3 per layer, and the recipe calls for 3 layers of pasta, so 9 noodles assuming none extra for "breakage"/"rippage".

* When you get to the breadcrumb/cheese topping, blend the two together first for better coverage and adherence. I didn't, and had some patches of "dry" breadcrumbs that would fall off the lasagna.

* The way the ingredients list was formatted could be confusing. I removed the extra spacing in between ingredients, and put in headers to show which were for the sauce, and which were for the filling, to make it more clear.


1 pound dried lasagna noodles

Goat Cheese Bechamel Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 ounces fresh creamy goat cheese, freshly grated Parmesan cheese or mascarpone
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Filling:
29-ounce can pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh creamy goat cheese
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

First, prepare the lasagna noodles: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and fill a large mixing bowl with ice and water. Boil the noodles until al dente, tender but still very chewy, about eight minutes. Drain them and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Lightly oil a baking sheet with some olive oil. Drain the noodles from the ice water, and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet, not overlapping. Set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, start the Goat Cheese Bechamel Sauce: In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Continuously stirring with a wire whisk, sprinkle in the flour; continue cooking, constantly stirring, for five minutes. Briskly whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Stir in the goat cheese, salt and pinch of nutmeg. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue cooking, frequently stirring, until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside.

To make the Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, thyme, sage, nutmeg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, mascarpone, 1/4 cup Parmesan, brown sugar, goat cheese, salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.

For the lasagna assembly: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the inside of a 13-by-9-by-3-inch lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread a third of the pumpkin mixture on the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles, placed lengthwise side by side. Spread another third of the filling over the noodles, and top with 3/4 cup of bechamel. Top with another layer of pasta, the remaining filling and another 3/4 cup of bechamel. Cover with a final layer of noodles, and all the remaining bechamel. Evenly sprinkle with the 1/2 cup each of breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray, and place it sprayed side down over the lasagna pan, folding the edges over. Bake until the lasagna is heated through and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake until the topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, and let the lasagna settle for 10 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut it into rectangles or squares. Use a spatula to transfer them from the pan to serving plates.

Serves 10 as an appetizer, six as a main course.

Crossposted to my personal journal.
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