Here’s our last pumpkin pasta recipe of the season. October is National Pasta Month and National Pumpkin Month. National Pasta Day is October 17th; October 25th is World Pasta Day. October 26th is National Pumpkin Day. We’ve been partying with pasta: celebrating the harvest season and shortly, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin recipes shouldn’t stop when Thanksgiving is over. Nutritious, colorful pumpkin makes comfort food recipes all through the bleak, cold winter, too.
This recipe is courtesy of Frigo Cheese.
This recipe specifies Swiss chard, but you can use any variety of chard. Swiss chard is the white-stemmed variety. Golden (yellow)-stem and red-stem chard are also common. Rainbow chard is simply all three varieties packed together for maximum good looks.
Chard is particularly popular in Italian food, where it’s added to pasta dishes, risotto, and even tops a pizza. Its flavor is similar to spinach, but more bitter when eaten raw.
If you’re not familiar with chard, a member of the beet family, here’s more about it.
If you need a chard substitute, look to black Tuscan kale (a.k.a. cavalo nero, dinosaur kale, and lacinato kale), mature (not baby) spinach, or mustard greens.
Prep time is 40 minutes, cook time is 40 minutes.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot, as directed on the package. Drain slowly into a colander. See the notes* in the footnote below.
2. MELT the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 1 minute.
3. ADD the Swiss chard, salt, pepper, sage, and nutmeg and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until wilted and no liquid remains.
4. COMBINE in a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and half of the grated parmesan.
5. LAYER 3 lasagna noodles in a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish (trim if necessary). Spread 1/2 of the pumpkin mixture over the noodles in an even layer. Top with 1/2 of the Swiss chard and layer with 3 more noodles. Cover with 1/3 pumpkin mixture.
6. REPEAT the layering of lasagna noodles, pumpkin, Swiss chard, another layer of noodles and finish with the remaining ricotta cheese mixture. Layer with the remaining 3 noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
7. BAKE for 35-40 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. Garnish with the optional sage and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
*Here’s what we’ve learned the hard way: Stir the noodles continuously for the first two minutes so they don’t clump together or stick to the bottom of the pot. Separate the noodles with a chopstick. Continue to separate as needed during the boiling process. Drain them slowly into a colander so they don’t stick together. Do not rinse the noodles: The starch on their surface helps the sauce stick to the noodles. If you’re not ready to assemble the noodles in the baking dish, lay the noodles flat on a piece of foil, parchment, or wax paper, to keep the pieces from sticking together.