Beef And Pumpkin Lasagna with Béchamel (White) Sauce
I love weekends. Sundays mean refuelling with the whole family. And they also mean…carbs with zero guilt. Especially when making a lasagna that has half the Weight Watchers points and calories of regular lasagna…with a better flavour and fresh ingredients.
And this lasagna is extra special. Pumpkin slices throughout the layers give this lasagna an extra sweet and creamy pumpkin flavour…the perfect comfort meal.
With an easy to make Béchamel sauce over the top…oh hello. Make.this.now.
I know I’ve given you guys a few pasta dishes…(here is a link to them all for your convenience)…but this one takes the cheesy pun.
This was another ‘my mum and I,’ creation. She did the white sauce..I did the meat sauce. We both layered while hopping around each other, breaking out into Salsa moves and shaking our bee-hinds because we knew this was going to be one of the best Lasagna’s we’d ever make. And together.
What? You don’t dance while you’re cooking? I dare you to try.
There may have been a few more dance moves while serving. Because food and music. And pasta and dancing. And cheese. Lots of cheese. And pumpkin.
With a side of Garlic Bread, for mopping up the sauce that’s left over on the plate. Right? Yeah, I see you, and I know you’re feeling me right now.
And on trying it? This lasagna met our expectations and exceeded them by 5 million. That pumpkin! So creamy between the layers of the perfect beef sauce, melted stringy mozzarella cheese, soft pasta sheets, and the creamy white sauce over the top. It doesn’t get better. Really.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced OR 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 red capsicum/bell pepper, diced
- 1kg | 2lbs lean ground beef mince
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 700g | 24oz bottle Passata
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Vegeta or any other vegetable stock powder
- 4 cups pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and finely sliced (1/2 cm - ⅛-inch slices)
- 6 wholemeal/spelt or whole grain lasagna sheets
- 1 cup (250g | 9oz) fat free ricotta cheese
- 4 cups 500g | 17oz grated light Mozzarella
- 4 tablespoons light/reduced fat butter of choice (or margarine)
- 3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat/wholemeal or light spelt)
- 2 cups skim milk (or almond milk)
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 200C | 390F. Heat the oil in a large sized pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and panfry until onion is transparent (1-2 minutes).
- Add the carrots and capsicums/peppers, pan frying until soft; add the beef, and cook stirring while breaking up the meat until browned. Stir through parsley, Passata, tomato paste, sugar and stock powder. Season with salt to taste; remove from heat and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan on low heat. Add the flour and whisk it the butter until lump free and smooth. Add a small amount of milk at a time (about ¼ cup each time), whisking until smooth and combined between each interval. (Add ¼ cup more than the suggested 2 cups to reach your desired consistency if you need too). Stir through salt to taste.
- Spray a large oven proof baking dish with nonstick spray and wipe excess over with a paper towel
- Spoon about 1 1/ 2 cups of the beef sauce around the base of the pan.
- Layer with 3 sheets on top and about 1½ cup of meat sauce over the sheets. Arrange pumpkin slices over the meat sauce; spoon half the ricotta evenly over the sauce and half the mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat to create another layer with the 3 remaining lasagna sheets; the remaining sauce; remaining pumpkin slices and ricotta. Spoon the Béchamel over the ricotta and top with the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and change the oven setting to grill/broil on medium heat to brown the top. Remove from oven and let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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