- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 1/2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like), casings removed
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk (eyeball it)
- 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces) – be sure to use puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- A few dashes of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, breaking the meat up as it cooks with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the eggplant, onion and garlic. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until tender, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- While the veggies are cooking, place a medium size sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the roux, breaking up any clumps. Bring the mixture to a bubble and add the pumpkin puree and nutmeg. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper; reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Spread about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch casserole dish. Layer three lasagna noodles over the sauce, then top them with about 1 cup of the meat mixture, a cup or so of the sauce and a palmful of cheese. Repeat these layers two times, topping the casserole with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles; sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over top. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling and the pasta is baked through, about 45 minutes.
- During the last ten minutes of baking, remove the foil to brown the cheese. Once out of the oven, allow the dish to rest a few minutes before serving.