Take Five

Ready for the oven
This week, a historic musical paragon passed away. Dave Brubeck helped shape the jazz scene back in the day, and introduced innovations that can only come from some secret source of giftedness. For 91 years, Mr. Brubeck's presence made a difference in this world, simply because he shared his gift. His most icon piece was this:
This year, I'm adding Take Five to our holiday music playlist. While it may not be traditional, this piece will be a reminder to, like Dave Brubeck, add an extra beat to my timing, to move with intention and joy, to bravely contribute my own innovations, and to take those extra five precious minutes to realize all the good that surrounds my world.

While you listen to your holiday playlist, why not throw together this delicious supper? It's rich, warm and gooey, perfect for an early winter holiday season evening or Sunday afternoon supper. The combination of the music and the pumpkin lasagne may just be the perfect inspiration for seeing the world in snappy new ways.
Half baked
This Pumpkin Lasagne recipe came from Food & Wine magazine, a wonderful resource for interesting, delicious meals, many of which are quick and easy.
Fully baked
Because I'm recipe-bound challenged, here are my personal riffs: I used fresh sage from my back-door pot, and I always use cooked lasagne noodles rather than the no-boil noodles suggested in the recipe which never give me the textural result I desire. And, a little extra chard in the filling didn't hurt, either. I also wouldn't hesitate to exchange the chard for just about any other greens or combination thereof. The bitterness of kale or twang of mustard greens would nicely counterpoint the richness of the dish. Food & Wine suggests pairing this with an Oregon Pinot Gris, and I couldn't agree more.

To learn more about the remarkable man, Dave Brubeck, listen to this 1999 interview.

Pumpkin Lasagne, Food & Wine magazine online

  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 onions, chopped
  3. 2 pounds Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and chopped
  4. 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon dried sage
  7. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  8. 3 cups canned pumpkin puree (one 28-ounce can)
  9. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  10. 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. 9 no-boil lasagne noodles (about 6 ounces)
  13. 1 tablespoon butter

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the chard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the chard is wilted and no liquid remains in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups of the pumpkin, 3/4 cup cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
  3. Pour the milk into an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Top the milk with one third of the noodles, then spread half the pumpkin mixture over the noodles. Layer half the Swiss chard over the pumpkin and top with a second layer of noodles. Repeat with another layer of pumpkin, Swiss chard, and noodles. Combine the remaining 1 cup of pumpkin and 3/4 cup of cream. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the lasagne, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan, and dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.


  1. I was just itching for an SFF update! Maybe this recipe will sway my anti-lasagna five year old. And if not, more for me.

    1. Your lasagne story was epic! You are brave to go anywhere near that scenario again, even for pumpkin lasagne!!! Someday I'll tell you about my kid-n-food strategy, which seemed to work.

  2. Yes, RIP Dave Brubeck! What a great old age he reached.

    I agree with you on the texture of the no-cook lasagne, Pam. I know it is extremely handy but you can't beat the original for texture. This sounds fantastic and a great dish to pop in the freezer for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

    1. Good to hear from you, Hester, Let me know if you make this dish, and any revision you do to give it your own flair!


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