Pumpkin lasagna, with tofu ricotta and sprouted noodles

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Please beware, this recipe will take forever to make, plus a lot of preparation in advance. Prepare to spend several hours in the kitchen. I guess you could make it quick with store-bought pasta and so, but thats no fun. It is def worth the time.

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It was a few years back when I first came in contact with sprouted flours. I saw in a local health food store that they carried some sprouted bread, and then when digging I found that people also used sprouted flour. So why use this instead of regular whole grain flour? Well some people claim that since you sprout the grain before dehydrating and milling, it will become more easy to digest since your actually eating a small plant and not a grain. I don’t know, at least I don’t experience any difference in what my stomach tells me. But what I do see is a difference in taste. It becomes much more nutty once you spout it before eating (the gluten doesn’t work as good though). Last year I made gingerbread cookies from sprouted flour and the taste was amazing. So when it comes to the health aspect, I can recognise it, and there might be something to it, but taste is the big thing for me.

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So how does this work? Well if your lucky you can find spouted flour in the store. If your not that lucky, you have to make your own. I wasn’t that lucky. I have never seen any spouted flour in the Swedish shops. So I have to make it from scratch. When you spout you soak the grains for about 12 hours, then you pour the water, and continue to rinse the grains twice daily until the sprout is about the same length as the grain itself. I made my sprouted flour from spelt berries. Finding grains in the store that works for sprouting can be pretty challenging. Grains have about two years after harvest while they are still easily to sprout. The older they get, the harder it is. And because grains in the supermarket hasn’t been handled with care, my experience is that they don’t sprout, they just rot. So getting them fresh in the autumn from a local farmer is your best option, and start to make the flour as quickly as possible.

One the sprout is long enough you you have to dry them. You can either use your oven with the lid open, lowest temperature until dry, or a dehydrator. So now you have your hand full of those grains with a tail, how do you make them into flour? I have a stone mill that I can attach to my kitchen assistant. Other ways to do it to use a coffee mill or a high speed blender. And here we are, with the final flour.

For the freezer

For the freezer

This lasagna requires pumpkin puree. I only had a gigantic Blue Hubbard at home so, it was a great opportunity to make some puree for the winter/spring. I placed the leftovers in small bags and froze them. Much better than the over priced and sometimes toxic cans in the store.

Now let’s make some lasagna noodles and a hearty lasagna.

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Lasagna noodles from sprouted flour
 
What you need
  • 180 grams sprouted spelt berries
  • 120 grams regular spelt berries
  • 6 gram salt
  • water
How to do it
  1. Start by mixing the berries and milling them into flour, I use my stone mill, but a coffee grinder or high speed blender might also work.
  2. Place the flour in the food processor, mix in the salt. While running, add the water, until the consistency is like a hard pie dough.
  3. Allow it to rest covered in the fridge for 30 min.
  4. Use a pasta maker (I have no idea what they are called, hope you understand). Divide the dough into 8 small balls, flatten them before putting in the machine. Make the noodles as thick or as thin as you like. The thinner, the more noodles and the more layers for the lasagna.
  5. My suggestion is to wait to make the final noodles until it's time to layer the lasagna, since they easily dry out and become really fragile.

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Pumpkin lasagna with tofu ricotta and kale
 
What you need
  • For the pumpkin mash:
  • Once 600-800 gram pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • For the kale layer:
  • Kale
  • Caramelised onion:
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 red onion
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Tofu ricotta
  • 200 grams hard tofu
  • 0.5 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water
  • Dehydrated black currants, then soaked
How to do it
  1. Pumpkin mash:
  2. Heat the oven to 200C or 390F. Split the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Place on an oven plate with skin up. Het until soft. Usually takes around 40-50 min.
  3. Remove and let it cool of a while. Scrape the flesh into a bowl, add the cinnamon, oil, and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Mash it with a fork.
  4. Kale:
  5. Rinse the kale, remove the stem and cut into strips.
  6. Caramelised onions:
  7. Gently heat the oil in a thick bottom pot.
  8. Peel the onions, cut into larger pieces or into rings.
  9. Add to the pot with the salt.
  10. Fry it on low for 30 min.
  11. Tofu ricotta:
  12. Add all the ingredients to a blender, start by using 0.25 cup water. Add more water if necessary. It should be like a spreadable cream.
  13. Assembly:
  14. Layer all the ingredient to your liking. Remember that the kale is raw and a bit dry so it will work best if layered together with either ricotta or pumpkin and not between two pasta layers. I also added the currants, love the four suprice they will give (dehydrating and soaking makes them keep in one piece, so the entire lasagna doesn't get all blue). Fining with pumpkin can decorate with the ricotta.
  15. Mine was something like:
  16. kale - pumpkin - pasta - onions - pasta - pumpkin - pasta - kale - ricotta - pasta - pumpkin ricotta.
  17. Place it in the oven for about 30-35 min. 200C or 390F (still warm and running from the pumpkin mash).
  18. Allow to cool for 20 min.
  19. Finish with some pepper and something green on top and your done!

output

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So was it worth it?

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Roasted mashed pumpkin

Pumpkin season is here. This is magic to me. I love them, in every shape and color. Their diversity is so great, and they work with both savoury and sweet things. I’v done the same thing for many years now, when this time comes, I stock up on them, big time. Too the extent that my kitchen is almost 50% pumpkins, just because they are so beautiful and will keep for a long time. When I’ve left them for too long and they start turning bad I’ll just steam and purée them for canning. My colleagues joke about me, cause the only thing I eat is this colourful ball, pancakes, ice cream, grilled and so on. So why not start October with some mashed pumpkin and a chutney-styled sweet sour sauce?

Let’s go!

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Roasted mashed pumpkin
 
What you need
  • 1 small - medium orange-fleshed pumpkin. About 1 kg / 2 punds
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 0.5 cup oat milk (or any other plant milk, your choice)
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
How to do it
  1. If the skin of the pumpkin isn't too tough, keep it, otherwise you better peel it of. Continue by cutting the pumpkin into inch-sized pieces.
  2. Spread on a baking tray and mix with 0.5 tsp salt and 2 tbsp oil, mix well. Broil for about 25 min on 200°C or 390°F. Mix meanwhile. Keen it in the oven until very soft inside and with a nice burned top.
  3. Use a potato masher to mash the pumpkin. Add the rest of the ingrediens. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. You can add more milk if it is too thick.

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Chutney-styled plum sauce
 
What you need
  • 8 large plums
  • 4 tbsp honey (you might wanna change this amount if your plums are sweet or sour, trust your taste)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 0.5 cup water
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne
  • 0.5 inch ginger
  • salt
  • some oil
How to do it
  1. Mince the onion and garlic. Fry in some oil on medium heat for 15 min.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Boil for 5 min.
  3. Remove from the plate and blend it with a hand blender.
  4. Put it back on the plate. Boil until concentrated and you get a saucy consistency.

Some of the pumpkins my mother and me grew this year

Some of the pumpkins my mother and me grew this year

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Serve with some steamed veggies like broccoli or kale.

Have a good one!