Pumpkin & Kale Lasagna
After I made this Pumpkin & Kale Lasagna, I discovered that it is nearly impossible to take a glamour shot of lasagna. No matter, I wrapped that bad boy up and toted it on across the street to share a meal with my neighbor Anna.
And by “toted it,” I mean grunted and moaned as I carried a 20-pound pumpkin & kale lasagna 50 yards. Then kicked her front door with my foot until Anna let me in. But no matter, she was excited to see me.
She’s jokingly told me many times that she generally has cereal for dinner. Disheartened at this thought, I wanted to share a homemade meal with her, with the promise of leftovers for yet another meal. She provided the wine, and we had a great time eating a non-cereal dinner and gossiping about the neighborhood chit-chatting.
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) 100% pure pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 box (16 ounces) lasagna noodles
- 3 tablespoon extras virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 large bunch of kale (stems removed), leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/4 cup dry, uncooked couscous
- 10 ounces mozzarella cheese slices
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 package (12 ounces) fully cooked chicken & apple sausage links, sliced crosswise into 1/4" pieces (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- In medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon oil and cook as label directs. Drain pasta; set aside.
- Return same large pot to stove. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, kale (in batches, if necessary) and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until all kale is slightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In medium saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. While whisking, slowly add milk. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in sage, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray lasagna pan or large baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour about half of cream sauce in bottom of dish. Add layer of noodles, then spread noodles with half of pumpkin mixture. Add another layer of noodles, followed by half each of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Add all of the sauteed kale. Sprinkle kale with all of the couscous. Add layer of noodles. Spread noodles with remaining pumpkin mixture. Spread all of the sausage slices (if using) over pumpkin. Top sausage with remaining mozzarella. Add one last layer of noodles. Pour remaining cream sauce over everything. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake 15 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly. Let rest 15 minutes before serving topped with parsley, if desired.
MORE GREAT FALL FOOD:
- Halloween Deviled Eggs – the “trick” is that this treat is so easy to put together.
- Easy Halloween Food Ideas – a whole platter of spooky snacks, with a video to help!
- Orange Cream Cake with Chocolate Ganache – this one is a showstopper!
- Creamy Pumpkin Parmesan Dip – a savory, more sophisticated Halloween snack.
- Halloween Brownies – trick or beet!
- Pumpkin-Brie Quesadillas – kids and adults both love these.