After I made mini pumpkin muffins the other day, I had about two cups of pumpkin puree leftover. Since I’m not one for wasting any food, I wanted to make something else with the pumpkin. My friend, Dana, recently made pumpkin lasagna, which she said turned out absolutely delicious. I decided to do the same, but used a different recipe. I chose Robert Irvine’s five-star pumpkin lasagna recipe on the Food Network website, but made a few alterations.
I figured the finished product had to turn out well when the separate components tasted delicious on their own, from the wine infused tomato sauce to the slightly sweet pumpkin and cheese filling to the turkey, zucchini, garlic and onion mixture. Irvine’s recipe calls for spicy Italian sausage, but I decided to use turkey to make the dish leaner.
After removing the lasagna from the oven, it was difficult to resist immediately devouring the entire dish—the aroma was tantalizing. I was not even worried about the risk of burning my tongue. Subtle, but still recognizable, the pumpkin flavor blended beautifully with the other ingredients, even the dash of cinnamon. With each bite, a plethora of flavors greeted the taste buds, both savory and sweet. I highly recommend making this dish!
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more
1 lb. Jennie-O ground turkey, 90/10
1 large zucchini, cubed
1 (24 oz.) can Classico tomato and basil pasta sauce
3/4 cup Blackstone Merlot
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. Precious brand part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded romano cheese
A few dashes of cinnamon
1 3/4 cup Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin puree
1 lb. cooked lasagna noodles
In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add turkey and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, or more. Set aside.
In a medium pot, combine tomato sauce and red wine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. After letting boil for about 5 minutes, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, mozzarella and romano cheeses. Whisk eggs in separate bowl. Add eggs, pumpkin puree, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Add a few dashes of cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Build lasagna in large (9 x 12-inch) baking dish, starting with a layer of sauce, a layer of pasta, a layer of half the turkey mixture and a layer of half the pumpkin filling. Add another layer of pasta, sauce, the remaining sausage and the filling. Finish with a layer of pasta and a layer of sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.