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Lasagne alla Zucca-Pumpkin Lasagne

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Hey! Happy New Year. You may be wondering what’s with the Pumpkin Lasagne? It’s not fall any more. It’s not even 2011 any more.


Where did 2011 go? I’m still stuck on Halloween and even had some pumpkins on my counter that needed roasting.

Fabrizio was kind enough to finally slice, clean and roast the two pumpkins I bought back in October. Luckily, they were still absolutely perfect. He was certain they had begun to go bad. I roasted the diced pumpkin pieces and had a whole week’s worth of menu ideas. This was going to be a healthy start to my New Year. I enjoyed some of it in a delicious pumpkin risotto this past week.

I was going to make it again for New Year’s Day and then remembered how much my dad loves lasagna. I also was thinking there is no way I would be stirring a risotto for 20 minutes on New Year’s Day. So I assembled this lasagna the night before, covered it with foil, and popped it in the fridge until the next day. 

Clever, aren’t I?;)
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You’re really supposed to let the lasagne set after you take it out. Then you can get cleaner slices for photos. Today we weren’t really thinking too much about photos and Fabrizio had to be back at the restaurant for inventory. So this slice isn’t that pretty, but let me tell you how ooey, gooey and delicious it was! Oh my goodness. 

It’s the New Year and I should be thinking more about my diet. Diet? Yes, we were all discussing diets today at our New Year’s Day lunch. My mom was mentioning Weight Watcher’s and the point system. She has her goals for the new year. Gabriella and I were talking about getting in more exercise. Luca was talking about walking the doggies more. He has his goals too.

As I was serving myself a second ooey and gooey slice, I thought hard about those resolutions I should be making. Like possibly eating better. I have been a good girl and cutting out dairy as much as I can from my diet.
I dream of eating mountains of green leafy vegetables every single day. Before I conquer those mountains, I needed to enjoy this. And Fabrizio declared, "This is a perfect and healthy lunch. A slice of this and a nice salad...perfetto!" I completely agree.
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My Prosecco from New Year’s Eve. I had only one glass and it was wonderful.

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Sogni per 2012-Dreams for 2012

Reflecting on 2011, I can say it was a sort of typical year filled with many highs and a few lows. Some lows I’d like to forget about forever. The good times? Well, there were plenty. Plenty more good times than the bad times. I was reading my sogni/dreams from last year. It's still pretty much the same: I hope to have a year filled with good health, family, and wonderful friends. My wish in 2011 for good health sort of came true as I was sick and was blessed to have recovered.

Am I blessed? Yes. Very blessed. What are my goals and resolutions? I have plenty of dreams and aspirations. Some are related to my food blog. Most are related to just me. I’ve given up on listing them as I usually lose my list. I keep a mental list and review it every once and a while. Top on my list most every year is usually to try to be a better person and mom. I feel the urge to spend more time with my kids and less on my computer.

Writing about food is important to me, but at what expense? So many thoughts about my blog fill me these past few months. The same questions keep passing through my head:  do I need to feel panicky because I can’t always pump out 3 posts a week I as I like to? Sometimes I may only find the time to write two posts a week. Are two posts good enough? Will my stats drastically drop? What about if I don’t find the time to support my fellow bloggers religiously during the week via Twitter, Stumble Upon and other ways? Will they forget about me? Who knows the answers to these ?’s. Does it change my status in the real world? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? I'm still figuring out how to juggle writing about food and the rest of my life.
The years spent with my kids will fly by. Soon they’ll be young adults and will want nothing to do with their dorky mom.
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I won’t be able to buy these magical days back. These are balloons from this New Year’s Eve at Fabrizio’s restaurant. Gabriella and our friend River walked all the way home from the restaurant with them to our house (with other adults);) . They wouldn’t fit in the car.
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Gabriella said, “This was our first fun moment of 2012.” Yes. The first fun moment of many more to come.

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And what about my parents? How about more quality time with them? My dad who is the master of all work and no play…I vow to get more walks on the beach with him. Maybe he’ll even teach me his secret Christmas Ham recipe. That’s him this Christmas. No famous Christmas sweater this year because it was above 80 F this Christmas.:)

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I came across a really neat post in my Foodbuzz inbox called, “I Want to Matter” written by Linda of Salty Seattle.  It resonated with me. Maybe it will with you as well.

If you don’t happen to have any pumpkins from Halloween laying around your kitchen, you could use canned pumpkin or even some lovely squash. Either way, the lasagne will be lovely. The besciamella is crazy good. I doubled the portion and made extra because I used a larger pan this time. You could double it and make it creamier and save what’s left for another pasta recipe. Just make this and enjoy. Life is sweet.

Lasagne alle Zucca-Pumpkin Lasagne

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) pumpkin peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (or canned pumpkin)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
teaspoon nutmeg
12 basil leaves
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese (I used slices of mozzarella)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

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Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with a generous amount of foil. Add the diced pumpkin. Drizzle on the olive oil and mix it around with your hands to incorporate the oil. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pumpkin with the foil and fold the sheets under. Bake the pumpkin in this foil pouch for about 45 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Blend until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add about a 1/4 cup of water to the pumpkin puree. Test the flavor and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

la besciamella:
*As I was assembling the lasagne, I ended up making another portion of the besciamella. I like my lasagne to have more of a creamy consistency and thought it better to have more. If you like it very creamy, make another batch and if you don't end up using it with the lasagne, you could use it another pasta dish.:)

Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together until incorporated. The flour will be very dry. Raise the heat to medium-high and in 1/2 cup portions, gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. The besciamella will continue to thicken even when you remove from the heat. If it seems to dense, whisk in a little bit more of mil. Whisk in the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Spread 3/4 cup of the besciamella over the baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the pumpkin puree over the noodles. Spread the besciamella on top of the pumpkin puree. Place a few basil slices over the besciamella. Layer on your mozzarella slices (or if using shredded, sprinkle it on). Repeat layering 3 more times. On the last layer, sprinkle on the Parmigiano Reggiano on top of the mozzarella cheese.
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Add a few dabs of butter to the top of the lasagna. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil paper and bake about another 10-15 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden. In order to have neater slices, let the lasagna rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Thank you for your support, comments, and friendship this past year. It means the world to me and I adore all of you. :) 

What are your goals for 2012? What really matters to you?

40 comments

  1. This looks amazing. I LOVE winter lasagne...

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  2. Submitted this awesome post to SU. Had to share the love :)

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  3. Happy New Year! I hope we get to meet again in 2012! BTW, you are so right about your children. Enjoy them while they are young. :-)

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  4. Great way to start the year! It look Yummy! Have a blessed 2012!

    Hugs

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  5. Happy New Year your lasagne sounds ooey gooey good. Very nice I love lasagne.

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  6. This is gorgeous. I just love the idea of pumpkin lasagne. Happy New Year!

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  7. I love vegetarian lasagne and have never tried pumpkin - looks delicious. Have a great new year.

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  8. Happy New Year, Lora!
    Enjoy those little ones while you have them. My eldest goes off to college in the fall & I am already having withdrawal...
    Lovely lasagna - worthy of a spot at a holiday table.

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  9. A slice of this lasagna would make me very happy right now. It truly looks dreamy! In my opinion, there are no seasonal eating rules if you can get the ingredients. I baked a pumpkin pie last summer in the dead of July! Yes, used canned, but drained it overnight and cooked it down first. I still have two sugar pumpkins left, and this is what I'm doing with them!

    That said, so glad 2011 had many more highs than lows, and I hope 2012 is even better!! Happy 2012, Lora! xo What a great way to start it off!

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  10. Just catching up on the post I missed. You baked and cooked some beautiful food leading up to Christmas and now this very interesting lasagna! Happy New Year Lora! May all your hopes, dreams and aspirations become your reality.

    P.S. I can't imagine a time where your children will not want to spend time with their mother. I think they know how awesome a lady she is.

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  11. Lora- I want to wish you and your family a prosperous ans Happy 2012. Your lasagna looks so goos, and I frzen pumpkin puree in the freezer:)

    Thank you for co-hosting the Virtual NYE party. I had a lot of fun meeting new bloggers.

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  12. Simply stunning and delicious recipe.. Beautifully done!!
    Wish you and your family Happy 2012!!!!

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  13. Love this Lora; it sounds just perfect to me. Tweet me some, will ya?

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  14. Happy New Year to you, Lora. It sounds as though you have absolutely the right perspective on things - family first and everything else can wait. This wonderful recipe looks like the perfect way to kick off 2012.

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  15. That looks very very tasty! An awesome recipe!

    Wishing you a happy new year!

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  16. Thank you for sharing your reflections and your goals for the year ahead...and then of course, this lasagna looks just delicious Lora. I have so many things I want to accomplish in 2012...finish the rough draft of my novel, start a wedding cake company, spend more time with my family...the list goes on!

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  17. What a lovely post, my dear! Happy New Year to you!

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  18. Wow, this looks rich, creamy, and a perfect splurge dish! I have a couple pumpkins I still need to bake. I say, it is ok to have pumpkin dishes all year long:-) Happy New Year! Hugs, Terra

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  19. Pumpkin is one of my all time favorites, so I'm happy to see you're using it regardless of it being past pumpkin season! It's always pumpkin season in my book. This looks so creamy, cheesy, and delicious. I want a slice asap!

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  20. So much is in this post - delicious days, a most comforting lasagne and love. Ahh blogging. If I get two posts up in a week - that is a lot! Your heart is so true and strong - if you blogged once a month - I'd still follow.

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  21. I'm a fan of pumpkin anything! yum!

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  22. You will never regret a second spent with your children and parents...even though my kids are much older, I have the same thoughts...and may cut down my post some time this year. Gorgeous lasagna...I'd love a slice or two or three. Beautiful thoughts, my friend~

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  23. Gorgeous Lasagna Lora! Happy new year! Hope the year to come is everything you want it to be! xoxo

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  24. Aww Lora a touching photo of your dad!! Love this lasagne and particularly you sharing with us the precious moments with your family!Happy new Year my friend!

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  25. I read the same post and if definitely makes you think. I am a fan - albeit - a new fan, but a fan none-the-less. If you have to take some time off, just let me know when you're back...I'll be here.

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  26. Wow, such a beautiful dish Lora. In terms of the blog...remember you can do as much or as little with it as you want. It is YOUR blog, after all, and we are all just along for the ride.
    Love you!

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  27. Such a beautiful post! And it resonates with me especially because my kids are growing so quickly. It makes me want to grab them by the shoulders and say "Slow down, please! For me?"

    The lasagne is is beautiful--a delicious way to start the year. :)

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  28. Aww Lora this is a beautiful post. Life goes so fast and it's important to slow down and remember what matters. Your food blog and friends will always be here for you, whenever you have time!
    Not posting 3x a week is definitely not the end of the world (even if it took me a minute to realize and accept this!) And yes...being the kid on the other side of 20 (& watching my parents struggle with that!) I recommending stealing away time with them whenever you can. Before I knew it I was off and now almost 3/4 of the way done with college.
    As far as the lasagna - gorgeous!! It's never too late for a good pumpkin dish :) I want to try this with some butternut squash or other squash. Perfect for the cold weather I am about to endure!
    Enjoy the new year and all it's up & downs. Either way it will be great!

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  29. This is a truly amazing lasagna! Happy New Year!

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  30. Wow, such a wonderful food Lora. With regards to the site...remember you can do as much or as little with it as you want. It is YOUR site, after all, and we are all just along for the trip.
    Love you!

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  31. I have canned pumpkin up the wazoo that I need to use up! This ooey-gooey creation looks delicious! You shouldn't worry about all that Lora! I used to and realized it was taking the fun out of blogging. Only do as much as you love doing, when it makes you happy! We love you and will always be here. Happy New Year! xoxo

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  32. one of these days....i need to finally do a lasagne with pumpkin. i must be the only one that hasn't yet?

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  33. Pumpkin lasagne this delicious looking works in October or January! Lora - blogging has a way of taking over your world. My husband was starting to remind me that it was time t go to the grocery store! I cut back to two posts a week so that I could pay attention to things that I've been ignoring for 2 years. We'll all still be here, but you're absolutely right - your kids will not want to hang with their mom, so take the time :) Cheers to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling 2012!

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  34. In the grand scheme of things, whether there are two or three posts a week does not matter at all. I have to remind myself when I panic about those things.
    So I do once a week because that is all my work-life schedule allows, so be it! I still get to visit you and read, you still visit me when your schedule allows.
    HAving fun is all that matters with this blogging. When it feels like stats are more important and I stress about a posting schedule, for me it is time to step back.

    All the best to you in 2012 and more fun times spent together with your family.

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  35. Wow, that looks amazingly tasty and creamy! What a wonderful idea, I'll absolutely have to give this one a try :)

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  36. And you deserve these ooey and gooey deliciousness!
    All the best to you!
    Angie

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  37. Happy New Year ! So you got the heatwave when we couldn't come over this holiday, am a bit jealous as it was too chilly the year before. Like the recipe with pumpkin , I like ravioli with pumpkin and pine nuts too. Happy Baking for 2012 from a cold UK !

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  38. Oh my God -- I cannot wait to make this! Amazing!

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  39. This sounds absolutely amazing. What a beautiful version of lasagna.

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