Fall is here — it was in the air 2 weeks ago, then not here last week, but if the weather forecast is right (ha!) it’ll be back again by the end of this week! And to build the anticipation even more, I figured it was time to bust out this season’s first pumpkin dish. And what better way is there to start than with a nice, healthy, lasagna? There isn’t one. Obviously. I definitely urge you to try this – and adjustments can certainly be made. I’d like to explore a vegetarian version another time with soy sausage.
Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna
(adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe)
1 to 1-1/2pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like), casings removed (I used Harris Teeter mild Italian chicken sausage)
1 large eggplant, chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter (I used Smart Balance light with omega)
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (skim is great!)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Few dashes fresh nutmeg
1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles (I had regular lasagna noodles on hand and used 9 of them total)
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Yields: 4-6 servings
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. 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.
We cut this into 6 servings. I’m sure someone could manage to eat 1/4 of the pan, but I think sixths is much more realistic. It could even be 8 nice sized servings – more to share!
|Total Fat||11.7 g|
|Saturated Fat||4.4 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.1 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.8 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||50.1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||6.2 g|
|Vitamin A||176.3 %|
|Vitamin B-12||17.9 %|
|Vitamin B-6||24.5 %|
|Vitamin C||9.0 %|
|Vitamin D||20.0 %|
|Vitamin E||5.5 %|