Hey, it’s almost Halloween! What would be cooler than serving dinner in a pumpkin for the big day? Um….I think nothing would be as cool as that.
You’ve probably seen some dinner in a pumpkin recipes that look a lot like meatloaf and those are great but how about serving lasagna? Yes, pumpkin lasagna. I know it sounds maybe a little weird, but I’ve made pumpkin lasagna before and it’s really good. Just this time we’re going to actually make the dinner in a pumpkin instead of putting the pumpkin in the dinner.
This is a great dinner to serve before the kiddos go out trick or treating. Talk about getting in the mood. Plus, they get a nice healthy portion of vegetables before that long walk, or run, or car ride to all those houses. And what’s really cool is that they probably won’t even realize that they’re eating vegetables.
It’s really easy to make dinner in a pumpkin too. After cooking up some of the ingredients on the stove top you just drop the ingredient into the gourd and bake. And cleanup? Even easier. Just drop the empty pumpkin into the trash. I say empty because you scrape the pumpkin meat up as you serve the lasagna. So the pumpkin becomes part of the meal too.
This year’s Halloween can be really cool, just think about it…dinner in a pumpkin…it’s perfect!
- 1 7-8 Pound Sugar Pie Pumpkin
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion (diced)
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 Pound Spicy Italian Sausage (casings removed)
- 1 14 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
- ½ Cup Red Wine
- ½ Cup Chicken Stock
- ½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ½ Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1 Package Frozen Spinach (thawed, chopped and water squeezed out completely)
- 1 Pound Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1½ Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese (separated)
- 2 Eggs
- ½ Cup Walnuts (chopped)
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ⅛ Teaspoon Fresh or Ground Nutmeg
- No Boil Lasagna Noodles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the top off the pumpkin, but make sure you cut a wide opening, and clean out the stringy/seedy inside and discard that stuff. Set the pumpkin and its lid aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and sautè the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent. Add the sausage and cook until browned (breaking it up as it cooks). Set aside.
- In a small saucepan combine the diced tomatoes, red wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust the flavor with salt and black pepper to taste. Then add the oregano and basil. Reduce the liquid by half. Stir it occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking. Set aside.
- While the tomatoes are cooking….
- In a large bowl, mix the spinach, ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan, eggs, a large pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly.
- Build your lasagna in the pumpkin starting with a layer of tomatoes, a layer of pasta, a layer of ⅓ the cheese and a layer of ⅓ the sausage. Spoon a ⅓ of the pumpkin pieces in next and sprinkle with ⅓ of the walnuts. Do this 2 more times. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Cook for 45 minutes, loosely covered with foil. (You can cook the pumpkin top on the side of the pumpkin if you want to serve it with the lid for dramatic effect. But don't put the lid on the pumpkin when you cook it.)
- Remove the foil and cook for 15 more minutes. (The pumpkin is done when the meat of the pumpkin has softened.)
- Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
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