Roast pumpkin and asparagus lasagne - Recipes - Food + Drink - The Independent

Roast pumpkin and asparagus lasagne

Ingredients to serve 8-10

1 jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
125ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 onion, finely chopped
Half a bunch of sage, leaves picked
Half a bunch of thyme, leaves picked
A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Half a bunch of chives, chopped
500g ricotta
10 dried lasagne sheets
350ml cream
12 asparagus spears, ends trimmed, sliced into 3cm pieces
Two cups grated grana padano

Pumpkin and asparagus make a terrific double act. The sweet taste and soft texture of pumpkin plays beautifully with the crispness and flavour of asparagus. If you're feeling guilty, as I sometimes do, omit the cream and just use ricotta or mascarpone or both. Or forget the guilt and serve small portions of the lasagne prepared with just a little ricotta, grana padano and cream.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put the pumpkin on a tray and toss with olive oil, garlic, onion, half the sage and thyme, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, then roast until tender and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little (keep the oven on). Discard the garlic and put the mixture in a bowl. Add the chives and ricotta and mash.

Meanwhile, cook the lasagne sheets in salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain and cool under running water. Lightly brush the sheets with olive oil on both sides so they don't stick together and lay them on a plate.

Oil or butter a baking dish and pour in a little of the cream. Place two lasagne sheets over the cream. Spread some of the pumpkin mixture over the top and scatter with some asparagus, then some of the remaining sage and thyme, then grana padano. Add more cream and lasagne sheets and continue layering. Top with the final piece of lasagne, the remaining pumpkin, asparagus, cream and grana padano. Scatter with the remaining thyme and press the last sage leaves over the surface. Place it back in the over for 30-40 minutes, or until golden. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.

From 'Eat Ate' by Guy Mirabella (Hardie Grant, £20). Picture by Earl Carter

Sommelier's choice

Saint-Mont, En la tradition 2008, France

Notes of pineapple and lemon make this a perfect match to the pasta, cream and the asparagus.

Nicolas, £6.99, www.nicolas.co.uk

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