Lasagna with Pumpkin and Sage Infused Béchamel

lasagna with pumpkin and sage infused Béchamel sauce

We take for granted many things in our lives. One food-related thing that I had taken for granted for a long time was always having a good lasagna on hand. Growing up in Japan, I experience no nostalgic memories related to lasagna from my childhood. When I came to Canada years ago, I quickly noticed that there was always a lasagna dish at every dinner party I went to. They varied in flavours and styles, but it was a staple for gatherings. So I didn’t have an urge to make Italian friends in order to learn the very best of their grandmas’ inherited recipes. Plus in recent years, my partner’s culinary repertoire has expanded to include a delectable lasagna, so I’ve let him take charge when it comes to creating a good, homey cozy dish in the pasta category.

sage leaves

sage infused milk

Rainbow Swiss chard

lasagne noodle

I created this unique lasagna recipe a couple of years ago when I started growing my own pumpkins. I was  desperate to find a creative use for the same old pumpkins from our pantry, week after week, and needed to figure out how to use up the abundant sage leaves growing outside. We made the original version with macaroni & cheese for its ease and simplicity. Finally, this time, I have learned how to make lasagna and accomplished the recipe from my pumpkin daydreams! Once I tasted the delectable layers with their creamy fillings, there was no turning back.

layering lasagna

lasagna with pumpkin and sage infused Béchamel sauce

double-stacked lasagna with pumpkin and sage infused Béchamel sauce

Lasagna with Pumpkin and Sage Infused Béchamel

Use 12 x 10 x 2 inch baking dish

12 lasagna noodles
4 cups sage infused Béchamel sauce (recipe follows)
3 cups pumpkin puree
1½ cups ricotta cheese
A big bunch of rainbow Swiss chard
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese, coarsely shredded

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions and drain well. Reserve the cooking liquid and dunk the chard for a few minutes.

Squeeze the excess moisture from the chard and cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.

In the bottom of the baking dish, spread evenly ¼ of Béchamel sauce. Arrange 4 noodles over top, slightly overlapping, and cut off the edges if too long.

Top with ½ of pumpkin puree and place ½ of ricotta cheese over top. Spread ½ of the chard over the ricotta cheese and pour another ¼ of Béchamel sauce on top.

Repeat another layer with 4 noodles, plus the rest of pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, chard and ¼ of the Béchamel sauce. Place the rest of pasta on top, spread on the rest of the Béchamel sauce and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake until the top is golden, for about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Sage Infused Béchamel Sauce

Makes 4 cups

4 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
A sprig of sage
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg

Place the milk and sage in a medium saucepan and bring to simmer. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Drain the milk and discard the leaves. Or you can taste the milk for your preferred strength after simmering and remove the leaves right away. Clean the pan.

Melt the butter in the saucepan, add the flour a small amount at a time and stir quickly with a wooden spoon over low heat. Let bubble for a few minutes. Add the infused milk and, using a wire whisk, combine well until smooth over medium heat. Let the sauce cook until slightly thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Remove from heat and cover with a lid.

Béchamel Sauce recipe adapted from Sensational Sauces by Linda Collister

lasagna with pumpkin and sage infused Béchamel sauce

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15. December 2012 by Emi Uchida
Categories: Main Course, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , | 28 comments

Comments (28)

  1. Beautiful photos and the recipe looks so rich and comforting!

  2. Very nice post and beautiful photographs. I love spinach Lasagna, but never tried with pumpkin.

    • Thank you for leaving a nice feedback, ila! I love spinach lasagna with tomato sauce!!! However, I have been cooking with what’s available in my garden and pantry for last 3 years so this dish is one of the results of the whole experience. The experience has made me to become creative:) Hope you try the recipe and tell me what you think? Thanks, ila.

  3. These photos are just gorgeous and the lasagna looks delicious!

  4. This looks so gorgeous and these are some of my favorite flavors. Delicious!

  5. Your photos are exquisite! Well done. I really want to try this recipe.

    What camera and lens do you use??

  6. Just pulled the lasagna out of the oven. It looks and smells delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I love your photos of the lasagna, it looks like such perfect comfort food!

  8. Mersmerising pictures and recipe!

  9. Pingback: Lasagna with Winter Squash and Sage Infused Bechamel

  10. i followed your recipe once but without Sage leave . i m living in Spain . it hards to find here. just want to tell u that yr recipe is amazing . thank u for sharing 🙂

  11. This looks delicious!! Is it possible to use powdered sage instead of leaves? Has anyone tried that?/Could someone please recommend me how to do so?

    • Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. I haven’t had the powdered sage so I don’t know if that gives the same effect. Why don’t you try and let me know how you liked it? Good luck!!!

  12. This is my favorite sauce. Tastes great over vegies with dinner and is super fast and easy to make!

  13. OMGosh! Your photographs are GORGEOUS! I just want to press my face against the screen and pray the lasagna comes through! 🙂 I will definitely be trying this recipe for the Thanksgiving season. Question: what do you think about adding some ground turkey for those meateaters? I think it would pair well with the other ingredients. What a delicious Thanksgiving alternative this would be. I have family coming in, and might try it both ways. Thanks for the beautiful recipe. Blessings~

  14. You mention you grow pumpkin. But use pumpkin purée in this recipe. How did you make the purée?

  15. How do you make your pumpkin puree? Roast? Steam? Boil?

    • Hi there,

      You could do either way. I normally cut a pumpkin/ winter squash in half, remove seeds and roast on a cooking sheet at 350F until soft. Then puree the orange part with a little bit of water in a food processor and give the skin to my dogs. Good luck.

  16. This looks amazing, and I plan on making it got a weekend gathering. Due to my work schedule I have to make it ahead and refrigerate. Would you recommend baking it first, or just put it all together, refrigerate then bake the day of the event? Have you tried that at all?
    I also agree with the other responders, your photograph are wonderful!

  17. Looks fabulous

  18. I made this and an freezing it so when I come back from my traveling next week I can pop it in the oven. Any recommendations on how long to cook it for?

  19. This looks amazing. Do you think it would be okay to substitute butternut squash for pumpkin?

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