Pumpkin Lasagna

Use no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Barilla) which will soak up moisture from the pumpkin and Bechamel sauce. You may have some sauce left over. If you do, you can serve it on the side.

20 ounces mild Italian sausage, casings removed

8 tablespoons butter, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach

1¾ teaspoons salt, divided

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups whole milk, heated in microwave

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided

2¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin

1 (9-ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles

Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 4 to 5 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, spinach and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook for about 1 minute or until spinach is just wilted. Remove spinach and set aside. In the same saucepan, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in warm milk, whisking often for 15 to 18 minutes or until mixture thickens and comes to a low boil. Remove from heat and whisk in ½ teaspoon dry mustard, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin with 1 cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add cooked Italian sausage and cooked spinach. Mix well to combine. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place 1 layer of lasagna noodles on top, covering the bottom completely. (Break noodles and use pieces to fill in any gaps.) Spread ½ of pumpkin-sausage mixture over the noodles. Add another layer of noodles. Add another layer of sauce. Spread remaining pumpkin-sausage mixture over the top. Top with remaining pasta. Pour remaining sauce over the top and spread to cover the noodles. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until top is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. For more great recipes and to view her cooking demonstrations, visit and subscribe to Debbi’s YouTube channel. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 843-525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.