Serves 4 as a main course
Unlike the traditional lasagne, which is baked, this version combines just-cooked ingredients at the last minute for a fresher effect and is served as individual portions. This is one of the few occasions in this book when it is suggested you use a microwave oven as part of the final preparation. You will therefore need a large flat serving plate that is microwave-safe or ovenproof if using an ordinary oven—and which can also go under the broiler.
1 recipe quantity caramelized roast pumpkin (see the book)
1 recipe quantity pasta dough (see the book)
5 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
14 ounces spinach
7 ounces ricotta cheese
5 tablespoons pecorino cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. And cook the roast pumpkin (see the book).
Make the pasta dough, rolling it out on the thinnest possible setting. Cut it into sixteen 4-inch squares. Bring a large pan of salted water to a rapid boil. Cook the pasta in this, 4 sheets at a time, for 3-4 minutes each batch. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl of cold water as it is cooked. When all are done, drain and lay in a single layer on a large plate or tray. Brush each lightly with a little oil to prevent sticking.
When the cooked pumpkin is cool, lightly crush it with a fork adding 2 tablespoons of the olive oil as you do so.
In a wok or large frying pan over a high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, stir and immediately add the spinach leaves to wilt, a handful at a time. Season and drain well in a colander. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the ricotta and 1 tablespoon of the grated pecorino and mix together well.
Place 4 sheets of pasta slightly apart on a heatproof plate that will fit in the microwave and under the broiler (see above). Cover with a layer of pumpkin, top each with a second sheet of pasta and layer with the spinach-and-cheese mixture. Put on the third pasta layer followed by more pumpkin, then the last sheet of pasta. Sprinkle over a little pecorino.
Preheat the broiler to maximum. Microwave the lasagne at full power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer it to under the broiler and cook until the top starts to color.
Transfer the lasagne to warmed plates with a spatula. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, scatter over the remaining pecorino and grind over some coarse pepper before serving.
A New Look At Australian Cooking
By Martin Webb and Richard Whittington
Soma Books, 1997
Color photos throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2000
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