Pumpkin and spinach lasagna
Serves 6 (enough to feed 2 greedy adults and 2 toddlers twice over)
Approx 1kg butternut pumpkin (eg half a large one), peeled and sliced into 5mm thick slices
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
375g low-fat ricotta
1 x 250g packet frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, squeezed
150g feta (I tend to use Greek or Bulgarian goat's milk)
2 spring onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 x 690g bottle tomato passata
1 x 250g packet instant lasagna
A good handful of grated hard cheese (eg cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella or a combination)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Toss the pumpkin slices with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and lay on baking paper on an oven tray. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until cooked and browned on edges.
Meanwhile, place ricotta in a mixing bowl and crumble in the spinach and feta. Add the onions and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt (sparingly, as the feta adds a lot!) and pepper.
Pour about a cup of passata on the bottom of a baking dish (I use a rectangular Corningware dish that fits 2 large, curly lasagna sheets per layer). Cover with lasagna sheets, half the cooked pumpkin, about a cup of passata, half the garlic and a light sprinkling of hard cheese. Cover with more lasagna sheets and spread over the spinach and ricotta mixture. Repeat these two layers, reserving some hard cheese and passata for the top. Put a final layer of lasagna sheets over the (second) spinach and ricotta layer, cover with a thick blanket of passata and sprinkle over remaining hard cheese and pine nuts.
To help the pasta cook on the edges, I usually create a moat by adding water to the remaining passata in the bottle and drizzling it around the outside of the assembled lasagna inside the baking dish.
Place baking dish in oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes (or until the pasta is tender in the middle of the lasagna). Allow it to sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.