Pumpkin and Caramelised Onion Lasagne, Truffled Walnut and Sage Butter

, from Issue #97. May, 2021
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Pumpkin and Caramelised Onion Lasagne, Truffled Walnut and Sage Butter

Never let anyone say vegetarian lasagne is boring. Sweet pumpkin and caramelised onions are layered up with creamy ricotta and a final flourish of decadent truffled butter.

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

PUMPKIN
800 grams crown pumpkin
(grey skin) peeled, deseeded
and roughly chopped 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon finely
chopped thyme
1 cup vegetable stock
sea salt and ground pepper

RICOTTA
350 grams firm ricotta
2 cloves garlic, crushed
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
1 large egg
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

TO ASSEMBLE
300 grams fresh
lasagne sheets
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Caramelised Onions
800 grams crown pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and very thinly sliced
parmesan for grating
1 ball fresh mozzarella in whey, well drained
Truffled Walnut and Sage Butter (see below)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Pumpkin: Place all the ingredients in a baking dish and season. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 40 minutes until tender. Blitz in a food processor until smooth.

Ricotta: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Season generously.

To assemble: Spread a thin layer of the pumpkin sauce in the base of a large ovenproof dish then cover with lasagne sheets. Spoon over half each of the remaining pumpkin sauce, ricotta, grated mozzarella and the caramelised onions. Cover with a layer of the sliced raw pumpkin and season with salt and pepper.

Repeat to make one more layer ending with the onions and raw pumpkin and leaving some of the onions uncovered. Brush the pumpkin with a little olive oil and season. Top with a good grating of parmesan then cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and rip over the mozzarella. Bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden. Leave for 15 minutes then spoon over the truffled butter, if making. 

Truffled Walnut and Sage Butter 
The butter is still delicious if you don't want to use truffle powder.

Ingredients
100g butter
10 large fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon truffle powder or more to taste (see Cook's note)
Sea salt

Method
Melt the butter in a medium saute pan. Add the sage leaves to kitchen towels. Add the walnuts, truffle powder and salt to the pan and cook until the butter is nutty and golden brown. Tip into a bowl so the butter doesn't burn. Makes about 1/3 cup.

Cook's Note: Giuliano Truffle Powder is available from good food stores.