My sought after lasagna, with a pumpkin twist

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Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the recipe as requested by some of you from earlier in the week. Now, before you go, “Whoa lady, that looks like a lot of work!” let me just say that it’s lasagna. It takes a little effort to make the thing but it’s easy to double and freeze and it tastes amazing on a cold night. So gear up and give it a go.

A quick note on the pumpkin: this can be simply taken out of the lasagna. I added it based on a recipe a friend sent me but didn’t find the addition made the lasagna very pumpkin tasting. Maybe substituting pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon would help enhance the flavor. Just brainstorming with you all. I’m no expert! But without the pumpkin, this is my go-to lasagna I make all the time.

Ingredients:

3/4 package lasagna noodles, about 12 noodles

1 pound italian sausage/ground beef, any combination of the two will do. I also use goose meat.

1 small onion, diced

2 cloved garlic, minced

1 1/2-2 cans marinara sauce depending on how saucy you like it

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp basil leaves

1 Tbl oregano leaves

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1 Tbl parsley flakes

1 quart ricotta cheese

1 can pumpkin

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1 – 1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese. How cheesy do you like it?  Best if bought in a block and shredded yourself!

Food Prep:

1. Cook lasagna noodles, or other noodles according to directions. Coat them in oil and separated them otherwise they’ll stick together while you’re finishing the other steps.

2. Brown meat, garlic and onion. Drain. Add sauce, sugar, salt, basil, red pepper, cinnamon and oregano. Simmer 10 minutes.

3. Combine ricotta, pumpkin, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley and salt in medium bowl.

4. Shred your mozzarella into a large bowl.

This pic shows my assembly station. Noodles, cheese, ricotta mixture and sauce all surrounding the pan.

Assembly:

4. Spread a thin layer of sauce in a 9×13 inch pan. You’ll probably have left overs for another loaf pan of lasagna.

5. Layer 1/3 each in order: noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella cheese. Repeat x 3.

*Note, you can use 3 noodles per layer for the 9×13 pan and then you’ll have some left for aloaf pan.

6. Cover and bake at 375 degrees 45min-1hour or until hot and bubbly. Uncover last 5 minutes.

7. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

If freezing for later forego the baking until you’re ready to eat and add more sauce! Like 1/2 jar since the noodles soak up a lot of the moisture. It will take about 1 1/2 – 2 hours if frozen.

I love to double this recipe so I can freeze some for an easy dinner later or to bring to a buddy. When you’re dealing with so many ingredients it’s easier to double the recipe than take everything back out in a few weeks to make again.

Enjoy!

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