Meatless Monday: Roasted Pumpkin Garlic Lasagna

Enjoy this savory veggie-filled Italian dish. 

Posted: 01/23/2012 01:46 PM EST

Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Roasted Pumpkin Garlic Lasagna. "Sugar pumpkin is slow roasted with garlic, then seasoned with oregano and sage in this Autumnal lasagna," says the Meatless Monday website. "Roasted garlic, cardamom and nutmeg deepen flavor of the pumpkin ricotta, while dried cranberries and apricots are sprinkled throughout to lend their complementary fruit flavors."

Roasted Pumpkin Garlic Lasagna

Serves 12

• 1 package lasagna noodles

• 1 2 pound sugar pumpkin

• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

• 6 cloves garlic, peeled

• 15 ounces part skin ricotta cheese

• 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree*

• 1 teaspoon cardamom

• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

• 10 green onions, thinly sliced

• 1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries

• 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

• 1 tablespoon dried oregano

• 1 tablespoon dried sage

• 8 ounces lowfat mozzarella cheese, divided

• 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

*Please note that canned pumpkin is not the same as canned pumpkin pie filling, which should not be substituted.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. When water boils, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, or until al dente.

Scoop the seeds and strings out of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin flesh into large chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on a baking sheet, cut size down. Scatter the garlic cloves over the pumpkin pieces. Roast 60-90 minutes, or until the pumpkin begins to brown and is tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Using a fork, smash the garlic cloves together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the pumpkin puree, green onions, cardamom and nutmeg to the bowl. Stir together with the fork.

When the pumpkin has cooled, remove its skin and cut into smaller cubes.

Line a 13-by-11 inch baking dish with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top 1/4 of the ricotta garlic mixture and another layer of noodles.

Top the 2nd layer of noodles with about 1/4 of the ricotta garlic mixture, then 1/3 of the cranberries, 1/3 of the diced apricot and 1/3 of the roasted pumpkin cubes. Season with 1/3 of the oregano and sage. Finish the layer with 1/3 of the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Repeat this layering process two more times, or until you are out of noodles, pumpkin, dried fruit, spices and cheeses.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the lasagna’s edges are browned and bubbling.

Nutrition info: 341 calories, 9 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 24 mg cholesterol, 171 mg sodium, 51 g total carbs, 3 g dietary fiber, 15 g protein and 13 g sugar.

This recipe was provided by Donna of Apron Strings.

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(Photo: Creative Commons via Flickr.com/penguincakes)

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