Vegan Pumpkin Lasagna
I have a tendency to challenge myself for no particular reason. You know that saying, “Why did you climb the mountain?” and the response, “Because it’s there.” Well that’s me. Even in the kitchen.
You see, I have a favorite pumpkin lasagna recipe, but it isn’t vegan.
I know, I know. I’m not even vegan. Lasagna isn’t supposed to be vegan. But what if it was? Could it be just as good?
Yes. It can be. I got it into my head one Wednesday that I needed to make a rich, creamy, vegan pumpkin lasagna. (Except I didn’t have a baking dish so I had to make lasagna rolls but that’s a different story). My first thought was coconut milk goes really well with squash.
My second thought was what the hell am I going to do with that rutabaga I bought at the grocery store last week and why did I buy IT (only one)?. So I got to thinking about turning rutabaga into something that would pass for ricotta cheese filling. I’m sure the same process could have been done with turnip or some other white vegetable (cauliflower?).
So after the storm (the brainstorm) was over, I must say, I had created a wonderful, completely vegan, lasagna. And it wasn’t dry and uncheesy. It wasn’t light and uncomforting. It was what I wanted it to be. What I needed it to be. Perfect.
One Year Ago: Thai Chicken Salad (with a lot of pictures of my pets!)
Pumpkin Lasagna rolls (vegan)
For the pumpkin filling
15 oz solid packed pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
For the vegan ricotta cheese
1 cup chick peas
1 medium rutabaga or turnip
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
6 lasagna noodles
1 15 oz can coconut milk
2 T SmartBalance buttery spread
2 T flour
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
Bring a large pot of water to boil on a stove. Drop in lasagna noodles and simmer until pliable, 5-6 minutes. Place noodles to cool over the lip of a large mixing bowl, draping one portion of the noodle on the outside of the bowl and one on the inside. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
In a bowl, combine pumpkin puree with spices listed.
Boiled a peeled rutabaga or turnip until easily pierced with a fork. In the bowl of a food processor, combine cooked root veggie with chickpeas. Turn processor on and stream in reserved water until a ricotta-cheese-like texture is achieved. Add salt and pulse a few times.
In a sauce pan, melt buttery spread. Add flour and cook combination a few minutes until golden. Whisk in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook 7-8 minutes until thickened. Add nutmeg and set aside.
Assemble rolls by laying noodles out and spreading pumpkin mixture along the length of the noodle, leaving the end of the pasta furthest from you a little thin in the pumpkin department. Dollop chick pea mixture down the length of the noodle as well, being careful not to leave too large of a dollop near the last 1″ or so of the noodle. Roll lasagna roll away from you, and place seamside down in a greased cooked vessel. Repeat with remaining ingredients. You will not have any remaining pumpkin but will have chick pea mixture left over. Pour coconut bechamel over prepared noodles.
Bake in a 350* preheated oven, covered, for 25 minutes. Enjoy!