Pumpkin, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Sage Lasagna
Is it too soon? You've just finished licking your plate clean first from the Butternut Squash Lasagna and then from the Red, White and Green Lasagna, and here I am offering you another slice. But I don't think you'll mind. Besides, this one is different. For one thing, it has pruscuitto. And leeks, and sage and some wine (everything is better with wine). Not to mention pumpkin, this one has pumpkin.
It's smooth and velvety, like the Butternut Squash version, and you can just as easily use canned pumpkin as roasting one yourself. That way, it doesn't take an awful lot of commitment, although once you taste it, I think you'll be committed.
The following is heavily adapted from two recipes, that good-girl butternut squash recipe from a friend's mother, which is straightforward, simply delicious and won't cause much guilt, and a terribly decadent pumpkin lasagna from Sarah Leah Chase's Cold Weather Cooking that doesn't mind calling for sticks and sticks of butter. This is where they meet, as one becomes a bit more adventurous and the other begins to settle down. I'm not sure it will ever replace that butternut squash version, but it does push it a little further toward the edge.
Pumpkin, Prosciutto and Sage Lasagna
2 tablespoons butter
6 leeks, trimmed and rinsed, then minced
4 cups pumpkin purée if you're making your own. If not, a 29 oz can will do just fine
1/2 cup dry white win
4 cups fat-free milk, divided
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
For the Layers
1 and 1/2 packages of precooked lasagna sheets, enough for three layers of three sheets each
4 oz package prosciutto
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves, torn into pieces
3/4 cups Parmesan cheese
To Make the Filling
Oven preheated to 350
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet and sauté the leeks until very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in the pumpkin and the white wine and cook for 2 additional minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add some salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
For the White Sauce
If you have empty tea bags, the kind you can fill with loose tea, fill one with the rosemary. Measure out 3 1/2 cups of milk and a microwave safe glass measuring cup and add the tea bag of rosemary. If you don't have tea bags, simply add the rosemary and strain it out once the milk is heated. Microwave the milk on high for 5 minutes, it would just begin to boil. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before straining the rosemary or removing the tea bag.
Spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup (as you should always do when measuring flour) and level with a knife. Combine the flour and the remaining 1/2 cup milk and whisk until you have a well blended slurry.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is soft, stirring constantly. Stir in the steeped milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Gradually add the slurry to the pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook the mixture for 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper plus the nutmeg.
Coat the bottom of your lasagna pan with a bit of the pumpkin mixture, then top with three lasagna sheets. Lay about 4 pieces of the prosciutto over the lasagna sheets, then cover with 1/3 of the white sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 of the sage over the top and then 1/4 cup of the cheese.
Cover with another layer of lasagna sheets and spoon the rest of the pumpkin filling on top, spreading it evenly. Lay 4 more pieces of prosciutto over the top of the pumpkin filling, then pour 1/3 of the white sauce over that. Sprinkle the remaining sage on top, and then another 1/4 cup of cheese.
Cover with the final layer of lasagna sheets and then pour the rest of the white sauce over it. Cover with remaining cheese. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until the top is nice and brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before devouring.