Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's fall enough

Hubby and I have been on a budget. Which isn't really cool, cause that basically means I'm on a budget, seeing that I do all the shopping...
Not the point. We've been good...especially me, who counts Starbucks, the chiropractor, and mani/pedis among the (few, actually) major cuts. And let me-my bare toed, nail-bitten, sore self-tell you...I need me some pumpkin spice latte. They've been at the 'bucks for like a month, and I haven't had as much as a sip. I'm telling you, the air changes a bit, it's suddenly dark when my alarm goes off in the morning, and my need for pumpkin hits.

And so, as I'm trying to save money...this is my alternative. I cook. I wanted to do stuffed shells, but all I could find were lasagna noodles, so once again, I worked. Served nicely with baby carrots steamed with dill. Even KittyH wanted some.

Pumpkin Lasagna
Olive oil
A few thin slices onion, chopped
A couple garlic cloves, minced
About half 14oz can pumpkin
1 container low fat ricotta
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup or so of chopped walnuts
Lasagna noodles, prepared or no-bake (I love you, trader joes)
Store bought light alfredo sauce ( I use the refrigerated buitoni stuff..molto bene), diluted with a tbsp of water or so, if needed, to get to a smooth, medium thin sauce
Parsley, to serve

Preheat oven to 400.

Sautee onion and garlic (or use an equal amount of shallot) in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Remove from heat.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta, pumpkin, egg, about 1/4 tsp each of ground allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. Add pepper to taste (good pinch). Add garlic/onion mix. Combine well.

In casserole dish, cover bottom lightly and evenly with a bit of the Alfredo (1/3 cup or so). Make layer of lasagna noodles, breaking pieces up if needed to puzzle piece it together.

Spread 1/3 of pumpkin mix across noodles. Cover with another layer of noodles. Spread 1/3 pumpkin mix, then sprinkle across half the walnuts. Cover with noodles, then rest of pumpkin, then noodles, then pour over remaining Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle rest of walnuts across top. Cover with foil. (if using no-boil noodles, let sit 20 minutes before continuing)

Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, cook another 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Let cool 15 minutes or so. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

*if you can see, the rockalicious salt on the carrots (and everything else I cook lately) is Let's just say it was a gift. From Cambodia. From a straight up salt field. I also have, also from Cambodia, but I've been afraid to use it. Much like the super awesome olive oils we got as wedding gifts two years ago(Thanks L&E!)...I've devoured one of each of said 'duel gifts,' and have been delighted...which makes me more hesitant to use the other. It's like a good wine...Perfect occasion, you know? Anyway. Thanks again, Boss Lady. Get better and go on vacation already. You and Tom bring back the best stuff. (xo)

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

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