Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin King

Last year, after slaughtering the Great Pumpkin, there were all manner goodies produced with the puree, including soup and lasagna. The first batch of pumpkin lasagna was okay, but I suspected it would benefit from some different spices and something with plenty of heat; tonight, I got to work on a second version containing exactly that. It ended up having four different types of pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lots, and lots, and lots of cheese. No pictures, alas, but here's the new, greatly improved recipe.

Pumpkin Lasagna:
1 package lasagna noodles cooked according to instructions on package
1 1/2 containers of part skim ricotta
about two cups grated part skim mozzarella
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb mild Italian sausage (not the kind in sausage casings!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp guajillo pepper
1/4 tsp chimayo pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup red wine
2 cans pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)

In a large skillet, brown the meat and sausage until thoroughly cooked; add wine and continue cooking. Add pumpkin, spices, salt, and peppers, and turn off the heat. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Cook the noodles and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter (or spray a large baking dish, and start layering until you run out of stuff to layer with, then sprinkle the top layer with more grated mozarella. Cover with tinfoil and bake on middle oven rack for about half an hour, then remove foil and continue baking for another ten to fifteen minutes.

Note: If you want to intensify the spices, you could heat the oil in the pan and throw all the spices and peppers in before you start browning the meat. ;)

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