I walked into my house today after an eleven hour work day and there was a bag of birdseed open and strewn across the floor of my living room, 1/3 of it gone. Izzy sat in the corner with her head bowed and her tail between her legs, no question of her guilt. Yeesh. This dog eats everything. We’ve been through, what we call, googled-stress (consulting every possible symptom/worst-case-scenario under “Help! Dog ate [fill int he blank] “) with this dog a number of times. Raisins, grapes, a bag of peaches, a bag of apples, a bag of bread, cooked bones of all types. You get the picture.
I’ll spare you the gory details of what is Izzy’s GI distress. But I can say that I have attempted to write this post for the past 3 hours and haven’t been able to come close to writing a full thought because I’ve been jumping up and down, in and out trying to shove the retching pooch out the door before all my rugs are ruined.
Needless to say, WYSIWYG when it comes to this week’s post. I’d like to say the pics will speak for themselves but I had to take these with my iPhone instead of my ‘real’ camera because I lost the battery charger. It’s just not my week, folks. I’m ready to run around with my bra off, yoga pants/comfy tee on, and my hair in a messy bun….with a glass of wine in my hand. That’s how much I’m over adulting (except for the wine) this week!
I really need to post a better write-up about this particular recipe because it’s bangerang (reference to Hook–like I said: I’m over adulting), especially for fall. Yes, you can make it ahead of time, and yes, it will freeze.
I used Julia Child’s recipe for béchamel and added pureed pumpkin to it, and in between the layers of noodles, I built a foundation of kale, Italian sausage, garlic, mozz, and an herbed ricotta.
P.S. Chris mentioned to béchamel would be awesome with a load of cheese melted in and mixed in with smaller pasta as a mac-and-cheese variation. I’d have to agree.
- For the Pumpkin Béchamel
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups hot milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin or winter squash
- For the lasagna
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds bulk italian sausage
- 8 cups kale
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 pound ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella (shredded or sliced)
- ¼ cup finely shredded parmesan
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- From Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking': Melt the butter in a heavy bottom 2½-quart saucepan, then blend in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a smooth somewhat loose paste. Stir over medium heat until the butter and flour foam together for 2 minutes without coloring more than a buttery yellow. Remove from heat. When the bubbling stops, in a few seconds, pour in the hot milk at once, whisking vigorously to blend thoroughly. Then whisk rather slowly over moderately high heat, scraping along the bottom and sides of the pan, until the sauce comes to the simmer; simmer 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Drain pasta. The pasta will be slightly cooked and will finish cooking in the oven.
- In a cast iron, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook through, until all the pink is gone, stirring occasionally.
- After sausage has cooked, drain all but 2 Tbsp. fat. Add kale and garlic stirring to coat kale with oil/fat. Cook until wilted. Add pepper and remove from heat.
- Mix ricotta, eggs, and sage in a bowl. Set aside.
- To assemble the lasagna: add 1 cup of béchamel to the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Cover bottom by layering 4-5 lasagna noodles lengthwise. Spread ½ the ricotta mixture over noodles. Add ½ of kale-sausage mixture on top of the ricotta. Cover with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Pour 1 cup béchamel over mozz.
- Add another layer of noodles, remaining ricotta, kale-sausage mixture, and mozzarella. Top with last layer of noodles. Pour remaining béchamel over the top layer of noodles. Sprinkle with parmesan over top.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.