Pumpkin Lasagna

This lasagna is surprisingly delicious and adds a fun twist to typical lasagna…a recipe from the BHG cookbook that would be great for a crowd.  James really enjoyed it and said the bacon made all the difference (although I think it would be fine without it).  I imagine this would be great with shredded chicken to add more protein.  It pairs well with a spinach salad or sauteed kale.  Salud!

Pumpkin Lasagna

Serves 12

12 dried lasagna noodles

8 oz. shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

8 oz. cremini or button mushrtooms, sliced

3/4 tsp. salt

2 TBSP olive oil

12 slices bacon, cut crossways into 1/4-inch strips

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

3 TBSP snipped fresh sage (or 2 tsp. dried crushed sage)

2 15-oz. cans pumpkin

3/4 cup milk or half-and-half

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1 15-oz. carton ricotta cheese

1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices

6 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely shredded (1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

In skillet cook mushrooms and 3/4 tsp. salt in hot olive oil over medium heat until tender and no liquid remains.  Remove and set aside.  Add bacon to skillet; cook until crisp.  Remove and set aside.  Reserve one tablespoon drippings in skillet.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add sage, cook 30 seconds.  Add pumpkin, milk, pepper, vinegar, and 1 tsp. salt.  Heat through.

In greased 3 qt. oval baking dish spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce.  Cover bottom of dish with 4 noodles, trim to fit.  Spread one-third sauce over noodles.  Layer with one-third each mushrooms, bacon, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Repeat layers twice.  Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

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