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Pumpkin and Lentil Lasagne with Ricotta

I was ‘making up’ a meal tonight. I make them up, because we can't eat what we used to eat. We can't enjoy the flavours we used to. We've all gone FAILSAFE. There are a few things I miss more than others. One of the biggies is Lasagne. I used to make it with lots of red wine, oregano and plenty of cheese in the bechamel (white) sauce. Yummo!! We'd eat it with salad or steamed veg. A glass of red. Okay, there's still a glass of red.
Anyway, I thought, "I'm making up all these meals... some work and some don't and some need tweaking or more inspiration. I need to keep track!!!" And so, here we are. My blog on meals that really work... or not... that are BAD-additive free, low in salicylates, amines and glutamate. 'Look Mum! *waves* I've got a blog!'

Ingredients

'Meat' Sauce
  • 2 tins brown lentils
  • 1 tin red kidney beans
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 spring onion
  • butternut pumpkin*
  • citric acid
  • water

Bechamel Sauce

  • 60 grams butter
  • 4 tabs flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • about 200-300 g ricotta
Method:

  • I'm not sure how much pumpkin I used, but let's have a stab at about 1/4 of a medium sized one. Chopped up to large chunks, a little sea salt and roasted.
  • Meanwhile, take 1 tin of lentils and 1 tin of kidney beans and drain and rinse. Put them into the food processor.
  • Chop and slice the leek, garlic and spring onion and add to the beans, along with the citric acid.
  • Puree, adding water as you go to keep it moving. Not sloppy, but 'mobile'
  • Cook enough pasta to fit your lasagne dish. I used about 250g of spirals.
  • Add roasted pumpkin (skin off) to the processor and puree until well combined
  • Put your other tin of lentils into a medium saucepan and add pureed bean mix
  • Heat this up slowly, adding water. I don't have a lot of experience with cooking lentils, but they sure seem to absorb a lot of water. Keep it moving as it heats up and cooks and then allow to simmer... keep on adding liquid as needed
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add flour, mixing constantly on the heat to cook the flour.
  • Remove from heat and gradually add milk, keep stirring to ensure it's smooth. Use all the milk.
  • Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until it thickens. Add the ricotta and stir until well blended and smooth.
  • Construct by putting half the pasta into dish, top with half lentil mix, top that with half white sauce and then do it again. If your dish isn't deep enough to do that, then just do all at once. Pasta, lentils then white sauce in layers.
  • Pop into MOD OVEN for 20-30 minutes, when it has a nice toasty colour on top.
  • Serve with a pile of steamed veg.
  • Serves my family of 5 eaters with enough left over for 3 kids to have for another meal.
*Moderate Salicylates

Verdict:

Ms D didn't like it. But that may be because she got a lump of pumpkin and so was looking for an excuse to not eat something she knew had pumpkin in. It might also be because she's 10 and misses all the 'old' food still.
  Ms C, the one all this is for, ate up most of it. Certainly no complaints.
  Mr JR, the nearly-3-year-old, ate a little, mostly the pasta portion and left his vegies (ha ha ha. There are vegies in the pasta!!) Everyone left a little as we had some leftover cheesecake for dessert.
  Mr frillypants & I ate it just fine. Sure, it's not the old lasagne, but nothing is! But I found the bechamel quite nice... even without the usual Extra tasty cheese and Grana Padano. It's still missing 'something'. Perhaps you might know?




Tweaks:

I wondered if next time I might try roasting the garlic as well as the pumpkin. And sauteing the leek etc before adding it to the lentils mix.



Comments

  1. Thanks Pip, Might try it! How big were the tins of lentils? Also... In Nth America butternut pumpkin is called butternut squash! I'll translate for you :)
    anyway... This blog has a "Julie and Julia" feel to it... Have you seen that movie?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anita. How so? I haven't seen that movie.

    You must have me confused with someone else though. My name is frillypants.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Frillypants,
    Welcome to Blog world! Thank you for starting this, I am sure it will help to direct people like me annoying you with questions, here so they can learn more!

    Julie and Julia is a wonderful movie. (blog, book too lol)

    (double post so other deleted)

    ReplyDelete

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