Our food is delicious and yummy… and sometimes a little messy sexy. We could spend time sculpting the perfectly artistic plate, but by the time you took your first bite, it would lose some of its glory and a little bit of its warmth. Instead, we pride ourselves on food that tastes good and flows onto the plate with one amazing bite of flavor after another. Our Executive Chef and Owner, Lynette La Mere, has been writing articles and submitting recipes to Food & Home Magazine for 20 years. Here is a sneak peak at the next one.
Pumpkin, Prosciutto and Red Pepper Lasagna
Serves 12 This is a party dish, it’s delicious, unusual and can be assembled ahead and baked an hour before serving. To make this lighter and quicker, 4 cups of prepared marinara sauce, mixed with a cup of light cream could be a substitute for the creamy cheese sauce in this recipe. Serve with crusty Italian bread, heated for five minutes at 350 degrees and then sliced, and a crisp salad.
Filling; 4 Tbl. unsalted butter 2 yellow onions, diced 6 cups peeled, diced cooking pumpkin or butternut squash 3 red peppers, seeded, cut into 1 inch squares 3 Tbl. olive oil salt and pepper
Sauce; 8 Tbl. unsalted butter ½ cup unbleached flour 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 2 cups light cream 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese ¼ tsp. nutmeg salt and pepper to taste
Assembly; 1 ¼ lbs. lasagna noodles, cooked al dente and drained ½ lb diced Prosciutto (another smoky ham would be fine) ¼ cup fresh sage leaves 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 10 X 15 inch pan.
Prepare the filling: Toss the squash and pepper with olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes. Set aside.
Sauté onion in butter over medium heat until very tender, stirring as necessary to keep from burning, about 15 minutes. Toss with squash, season with salt and pepper.
Reset the oven to 350 degrees
Prepare the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add stock, ½ cup at a time, whisking and cooking as you add it. Add the cream and cook until thick and smooth. Stir in parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Assemble; Line the bottom of the pan with noodles. Sprinkle with half the diced Prosciutto and 1/3 of the sauce. Scatter with mozzarella cheese and sage leaves. Cover with more noodles, then all the vegetable filling, more cheese, and a cup of parmesan. Make another layer of noodles and top with the remaining ham, another 1/3 sauce and the remaining sage. The final layer has noodles, sauce and all the remaining cheeses.
Bake the lasagna 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
Lynette La Mere, Pure Joy Catering, Executive Chef