Layers of Fall: Pumpkin and Sausage Lasagna

It doesn’t look like much, but this Sunday spin on lasagna was pretty terrific. I was craving a pumpkiny pasta and wanted to have something around the house to feed us on late-working nights. It’s pretty rich, so I think it’s likely to last all week, till we don’t want to ever see another sausagey-pumpkiny bite again.

The sage, spicy sausage, and wine mingle nicely with the savory side of pumpkin, softened with milk and fresh ricotta. A bechamel version would be lovely, too, but I just couldn’t fuss tonight, and this was still satisfying and warming, brimming with Autumn flavors.

At Serious Eats we’re talking about Thanksgiving already. Feels like just a moment ago I was stirring up this stuffing and watching Shiv’s amazing Turkey Day play-by-play. Have you settled into fall? Are you dreaming up mashed potato and cranberry sauce recipes?

Pumpkin and Sausage Lasagna
serves 8

1 medium onion
olive oil
4 links fresh hot Italian sausage (not the precooked kind)
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, chopped
5 leaves sage, torn
5 leaves rosemary, chopped
2 cups white wine (I used gewΓΌrztraminer)
1 lb fresh ricotta
2 cups milk (2% is ideal)
28 oz canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)
5 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
Parmesan for grating

Chop onion fine and saute in olive oil over medium-low heat in a dutch oven until transparent. Squeeze sausage out of casings and break up into small pieces, then add to pan and cook until no longer raw inside. Add mushrooms, sage, and rosemary and cook until mushrooms soften, then add wine and turn down to a simmer while you prepare the pumpkin filling.

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, milk, and pumpkin until uniform. Add thyme leaves stripped from stems, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. To make the sausage filling more uniform and thick in texture, buzz it a bit with an immersion blender, leaving some sausage chunks.

Smear a thin layer of pumpkin mixture on the bottom of a large lasagna pan, then lay lasagna noodles in a single layer over it. Cover with more pumpkin mixture, then noodles, then the sausage filling, then a layer of grated Parmesan, then noodles, then pumpkin, then noodles, then sausage, parmesan, then noodles, continuing until you run out of filling, and ending with pumpkin on top. Bake, covered, 35 minutes, then uncovered another 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

In italian, lasagna, pumpkin

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