For the first day of October, I thought I’d post a pumpkin recipe…seeing as it’s officially pumpkin season now. I made this delicious Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna last night for dinner. While it may not be the prettiest dish (it is a casserole, after all), it definitely is flavorful and it makes a wonderful Autumn meal.
For the pumpkin bechamel sauce, canned pumpkin is mixed into an easy-to-make white sauce, adding a light orange color but no pumpkin flavor…so even pumpkin-haters will like it!
I substituted crimini mushroom for the eggplant (approximately 8 oz.), which I sliced and sauteed with the onions and sausage. The mushrooms were a great addition!
After assembling the lasagna, I let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking to let the oven-ready noodles soften a bit. I then covered it with tin foil, baked it for 30 minutes, removed the foil and finished baking another 15-20 minutes (until the cheese browned a bit on top). Serve with a big green salad or Broccoli with Caramelized Onions and Pinenuts. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna
-recipe from Rachael Ray
This decadent lasagna is layered with sausage, eggplant, noodles, and a pumpkin-bechamel sauce. Yields: 4-6 servings.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like), casings removed
1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (eyeball it)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Few dashes fresh nutmeg
1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, breaking the meat up as it cooks with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the eggplant, onion and garlic. Cook 7-8 minutes, until tender, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the veggies are cooking, place a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into roux, breaking up any clumps. Bring the mixture to a bubble and add the pumpkin puree and nutmeg. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Spread about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9″ casserole dish. Layer three lasagna noodles over the sauce, then top them with about 1 cup of the meat mixture, a cup or so of the sauce and a palmful of cheese. Repeat these layers two times, topping the casserole with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake the lasagna until the sauce is bubbling and pasta is baked through, about 45 minutes.
During the last ten minutes of baking, remove the aluminum foil to brown the cheese. Once out of the oven, allow the dish to rest a few minutes before serving.
Tags: autumn, Bechamel sauce, Casserole, italian sausage, oven-ready lasagna noodles, parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pumpkin, pumpkin bechamel sauce, pumpkin puree, pumpkin sausage lasagna, Rachael Ray Show