Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pumpkin Lasagna and Sweet Potato Bread with Pineapple Butter

Fall is here! We've decorated the outside of our house with cornstalks and pumpkins from our garden and I'm still working on the inside decor. Yesterday since Mike was on shift I decided to make Pumpkin Lasagna. He's not what you would call an avid fan of pumpkin (or any kind of fan, really), which is an extremely difficult thing for me to accept since I love all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin chili, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin lasagna- you name it, I'd like it. Thankfully my parents live nearby and are also fans of the Big Orange so I was able to make a dinner and have others to share it with (with minimal leftovers for Mike to worry about). I also baked up some Sweet Potato Bread with Pineapple Butter- wonderfully spiced, moist bread brought to new heights when combined with the pineapple butter. Our entire family, Mike included, loves this bread so it disappears quickly.

Pumpkin Lasagna
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (this is my own addition but I think it's an important one for flavor)
  • Dash pepper
  • 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, cream, sage, nutmeg, pepper and remaining salt.
Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles (noodles will overlap slightly). Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.
**Make sure to use the full amount of salt the recipe calls for- I went light on the salt since my Dad watches his intake and then we added more individually at dinner. As stated earlier, I think nutmeg is a great addition to this recipe- adds flavor without turning the lasagna into a sweet dish. I didn't think the sage by itself was enough flavoring with the pumpkin.**

Sweet Potato Bread with Pineapple Butter

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (I microwaved one large potato for about 6-8 minutes after poking with a fork, rotating potato every few minutes using an oven mitt)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained


In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, potatoes, oil and water. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
In a small bowl, combine butter and pineapple. Serve with bread. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices) and 1 cup butter.

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