How does layers of Creamy Pumpkin and Swiss Chard Lasagna as a midweek dinner sound to you? Easy and quick to put together and bake, it really cannot get better than that. This dish has really become quite a favourite in my home....well of course it has, it has cheese in it.? Lots of gooey, melty cheese, what's not to love, right!
These two vegetables pair really well in this dish. The beautiful warm sweet orange colour and flavour of the butternut goes so perfectly with the bright green iron rich spinach. It is really makes an impressive meal, both attractive and delicious.
So, how is it made?
Really simple... the pumpkin is cut up into large cubes and steamed until almost cooked but not mushy. While the pumpkin is steaming, I fry the chopped onions and garlic in a little oil until soft and translucent. To take away that bitter taste of the swiss chard, I usually chop it up really fine and cook it up a bit with the onions. Then make up a bechamel sauce by making up a roux ( a fancy way of saying that flour and butter is cooked together to help thicken the bechamel sauce) ?Okay, fine it is not fancy, it is the real term to describe the process.
By the time the sauce is thickened, the onion spinach mixture and the butternut should also be cooked. Remove it from the heat and now take your onion swiss chard mixture and the cooked pumpkin and add it all to the cooked bechamel sauce. Stir gently to incorporate altogether. Just be careful not to break the butternut up too much while stirring.
Layering the Lasagna
Just spread on of the bechamel sauce mixture on a lightly buttered oven proof dish. Place a layer of lasagna sheets, add another layer of the sauce mixture. Grate over whatever cheese you like or prefer, here I used an equal mixture of cheddar and mozzarella. Then place another layer of lasagna sheets over the grated cheese , and continue in this manner for about 3 layers until you end off with a layer of sheets, and then top with a thick layer of the bechamel sauce mixture and more grated cheese. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 20 minutes. remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Just so you know, you can substitute
- Swiss chard can be substituted for kale or baby spinach
- Butternut will make a great substitute for pumpkin.
- To add a different flavour to the bechamel sauce and also help it thicken faster, try adding in a packet of powdered pasta sauce. I sometimes use the Knorr four cheese pasta sauce to my pasta dishes, it is really convenient.
I hope you enjoy and love this lasagna as much as we do....an Oh, just a warning, if you have a lasagna/pasta loving family like mine, then don't plan on taking this for lunch the next day because.....THERE WON'T BE ANY LEFTOVERS!!!?