In the words of Rachael Ray: "This decadent lasagna is layered with sausage, eggplant, noodles and a pumpkin-bechamel sauce." Featured recipe on the Rachael Ray Show July 17,2008
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs bulk sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like)
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1⁄2 cup onion (1 medium chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk (eyeball it)
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 dashes fresh nutmeg
- 16 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (1 box)
- 1 1⁄4 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- preheat oven to 375°F.
- 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.