2 small-medium pie pumpkins
3 eggs, beaten in a medium bowl
1½ sticks butter, divided
6 leeks, white and pale green parts only
6 tablespoons flour
½ cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock, at room temperature
1½ pounds lasagna noodles, uncooked
2 cups half and half, at room temperature
8 slices pancetta, chopped
1½ cup parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted in a skillet
6-8 fresh sage leaves, torn into pieces
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the pumpkins into quarters and scrape out the seeds. Brush with melted butter and place on a sheet pan. Bake until very soft, then puree in a food processor.
Meanwhile, melt the full stick of butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour to form a paste. Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring constantly. Now slowly add the half and half. Stir until sauce starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of the cheese, pepper and nutmeg and stir until the cheese melts.
Now comes a short juggling act. Ladle about a cup or so of the hot sauce into the eggs, whisking constantly. Now add the egg mixture back into the saucepan, again stirring constantly. Keep stirring until smooth then remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt the half stick of butter in a large sauté pan. Add the leeks, and cook until they are very soft and starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Add the pureed pumpkin and salt and pepper to taste.
Butter a large casserole dish. Pour in about a cup of the cheese sauce and top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top with a little more cheese sauce and half the pancetta. Add another layer of noodles, then all the pumpkin mixture. Top with another layer of noodles, followed by more cheese sauce, half the walnuts and half the sage. More noodles, then a little more cheese sauce, the other half of the sage and the rest of the pancetta. One more layer of noodles, then top with the rest of the walnuts and the rest of the cheese sauce.
Bake for 40 minutes, then add the last of the parmesan cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes or until lightly browned. If you want you can top with more fresh sage to make things pretty.
Ingredients: butter, chicken stock, eggs, flour, half and half, lasagna noodles, leeks, nutmeg, pancetta, parmesan cheese, pumpkin, sage, walnuts, white pepper, white wine