This cassoulet is non-traditional in a couple ways but it includes some of the key components of the ‘peasant’s dish’: beans, various meats, and veggies all of which are slow cooked for hours. What you get on the other end is a bowl full of soupy, sweet and savory, meaty, stick-to-your-ribs union of flavors that may or may not be the best bite of beans you’ve ever put in your mouth. There’s a lot going on in every bite. A lot.
This autumn lasagna was inspired at the Portland Farmer’s Market amid the baskets of pumpkins and squash and the piles of kale. Since the air is cooler, I naturally gravitate towards rich food, and this certainly is that. Layers of kale, italian sausage, sugar-pie pumpkin béchamel, herbed-ricotta, and fresh mozzarella marry perfectly between lasagna noodles. The béchamel base is that of the one-and-only Julia Child with some pureed cooked pumpkin and nutmeg added for depth.