Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagna


You read that right. 

Did your jaw drop open when you read that, like mine did?

Because mine totally did. 

Like whoa. 

People. It's pumpkin season. The bestest of all the seasons. It's time for ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS. I read a blog on Tumblr about a pumpkin shortage on the east coast and I was all "HA! Stupid east coast. They can't get anything right. WEST COAST IS THE BEST COAST, BITCHEZ!!". And then I went and bought every single ingredient for this except the pumpkin and only then found out that there is NO canned pumpkin to be found. None. Zero. Wtf. 

In a time of food crisis, I did what any logical person would do. I called my mother. Ok I called my dad. Whatever. My mother's pantry is the like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter. It possesses just the thing that YOU need. I needed pumpkin. She had it. Epic win. Major perk of working with daddy-o is he gets to be my delivery man for leftovers, random baking experiment goodies, and canned goods. Lucky guy!

So. Let's get to it. 

Recipe is here


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 16-ounce box lasagna noodles
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I tried non-fat. I'm not a big supporter of non-fat-things-that-are-supposed-to-be-fat things, but it was in the size that I wanted and cheaper. So there. It worked just fine.)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used soy cheese in an attempt to not totally kill my stomach with ALL THA CHEEZ. They didn't have just soy mozzarella, though, so I got a blend.)
  • 1/2 cup shredded romano cheese (There is no soy romano. FYI)
  • 1 large zucchini, very thinly sliced (I used the slicer side of my shredder tower. Perfect.)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkin puree in a fine sieve over a bowl; set aside to drain while you make the sauce.  (Maybe pumpkin puree isn't the same as plain canned pumpkin? I don't know, but my pumpkin wasn't juicy and I don't know what a sieve I skipped this.)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 more minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the tomato sauce and herbs and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook as the label directs. Drain and toss with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. (APPARENTLY I got the no-boil noodles from Trader Joes. Accidental win! I just put them in the dish dry and they turned out great.)

Mix the strained pumpkin puree with the egg in a bowl (gross) and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella and the romano.

Build your lasagna in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (I used an 8x8 dish beeeeecause that's the only dish I own. I attempted to adjust the portions accordingly): Start with a layer of sauce, then top with a layer of noodles. Evenly spread half of the pumpkin filling, then half of the zucchini, over the noodles. Top with half of the cheese mixture and cover with some of the sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with noodles and sauce; sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

This was GOOD. Good good. I felt like it maybe had too much sausage, because the spicy sausage flavor sort of overpowered the pumpkin flavor. LeGreg suggested just using regular sausage instead of spicy next time. I'll play with it. That's what she said. 

ANYWAY. I, of course, didn't exactly adjust the portions just right, so it was to the brim. The pic on the website is way prettier than mine, natch, but whatever yo. 

Moral of the story is that when canned pumpkin is available again I'm buying 97 cans to secure my spot on Hoarders and making this 100 more times. 

Pumpkin on.

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