While working for an Australian family for a year I started to pick up on the quirks in language that they often used. Sweatshirts were referred to as sweaters, Baby Raf needed to be strapped in to the pram every time we went for a walk and closets were referred to as cupboards. Reading Amelia’s grocery lists always required a look over before leaving the house, caster sugar was not a term used in American baking but I soon learned it was just regular sugar just as I learned that pumpkin was really a butternut squash. I wonder what they carve up for Halloween? Pumpkin was incorporated into weekly dishes and one of the meals I would often make for Amelia and Greg with rave reviews was their recipe for Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagna. I don’t really care for goat cheese or lasagna but I will gladly eat this dish. Another fun fact about Australia, there aren’t any squirrels there.
Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagna
Preheat the oven to 400
1 lb. Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into chunks
4 Tbsp. EVOO
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Leeks thinly sliced and washed
I bag of spinach
2 Garlic Cloves crushed
400 mL good quality tomato passata or a jar of pasta sauce
3 Sheets of l fresh lasagna
150 g goat cheese crumbled, I used a small log from Trader Joes
½ C. Fresh grated Parmesan
1. Toss squash with 2 Tbsp. of EVOO, s+p and place on a roasting pan. Pop into oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and mash. Set aside to cool.
2. Heat remaining butter and EVOO in a skillet. Over medium heat add leeks and cook, stirring for about 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add spinach and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Set aside and cool.
3. Grease a baking dish and add 4 Tbsp. of pasta sauce to bottom of dish and season with salt and pepper. Place a sheet of lasagna on top and spread mashed squash on top. Add another layer of lasagna, pressing down. Add 4 more Tbsp. of pasta sauce and then a layer of leek and spinach mixture. Finally add last layer of lasagna and spread it with the remaining pasta sauce.
4. Mix together goat cheese and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over top of lasagna. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and return to oven for a further 15 minutes or until the top in golden. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before cutting.
*** You can use precooked dry lasagna sheets, you may need to increase the cooking time by another 15 minutes.