Hi friends. I’m still here. And even though pumpkin week totally revived me from my winter vegetable funk, I promptly went on vacation to sunny southern Cali and left half my brain there. Whenever it decides to rejoin me, I’ll post more updates about the cooking I did out there and what I’ve done since I’ve been home (I found kohlrabi!).
In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of friendly and insistent reminders to post the pumpkin lasagna recipe. It was one of the best meals of the whole project so I encourage everyone to do it while pumpkins are still in season (the cooking ones, not the smashing ones). Many thanks again to BFF Lauren for this gem.
Northern Italian Pumpkin Lasagna, from “Pumpkin, A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year”
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced (Lauren skipped the onion for me)
2 lbs/4 cups fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ lb bulk sweet Italian chicken sausage (Lauren will have to verify what she used; I think it was special)
1 large clove garlic, minced
12 oven-ready/no-boil lasagna noodles* (Lauren boiled whole-wheat noodles)
5 tbsp butter
6 tbsp unbleached, all-purpose flour
5 c nonfat milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
3 c grated part-skim mozzarella
1 ½ c freshly grated parmesan
*Using no-cook noodles cuts out one step; however, if using regular noodles, cook and drain them and reduce the amount of sauce: use 4 tbsp butter, 5 tbsp flour, 4 c milk.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, or until wilted. (I say skip the onion. Yuck.)
- Stir in the pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with the oregano, the salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the sausage and cook until it loses its color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour. Cook for 1 minute, until bubbly. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, and set aside.
- Combine the two cheeses in a medium bowl.
- Heat the oven to 375.
- To assemble the lasagna, spray a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle ¾ cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan and top with 3 noodles, placed crosswise.
- Pour another ¾ cup of sauce over the noodles, then 1/3 of the pumpkin filling. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese mixture over the filling. Repeat the layers of sauce, noodles, filling, and cheese twice. Top this with the remaining noodles, pour over the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. The lasagna should look soupy.
- Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray and cover the top of the pan, with the oiled side facing down. Bake for 45 minutes, uncover, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Holy complicated. I’m so glad Lauren made this for me. Truly, it was worth every ounce of her effort.