Autumn is my favorite time of year to cook and this pumpkin lasagne is a staple in my seasonal entertaining repertoire — and always a hit. Hat tip to Sarah Leah Chase and her “Cold Weather Cooking,” one of my most prized cookbooks.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 6 leeks, trimmed, rinsed well, and minced
- 4 cups pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth, at room temperature
- 2 cups light cream, at room temperature
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 pound lasagne noodles, cooked al dente and drained
- 8 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, torn into irregular pieces
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups walnut pieces, lightly toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 15-by-10-inch baking pan.
- Prepare pumpkin filling:
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the pumpkin and the white wine and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare the béchamel:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, then the light cream: cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and season with the nutmeg, salt and white pepper.
- Pour the beaten eggs into a small bowl and stir half a cup of the hot sauce into the eggs, then stir the egg mixture into the remaining sauce.
- Cook a couple minutes longer, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.
- To assemble the lasagne:
- Layer the lasagne noodles in the prepared pan and top with half the sliced prosciutto and one third of the béchamel.
- Scatter half the sage leaves evenly over the top.
- Cover with another layer of noodles, then all the pumpkin filling, 1 cup of the parmesan, and 1 cup of the walnuts.
- Make another layer of the lasagne noodles and top with the rest of the prosciutto, another third of the béchamel and the remaining sage.
- Make a final layer of noodles and top with the remaining béchamel, walnuts, and parmesan.
- Bake the lasagne in the oven until lightly browned and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.