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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Pumpkin Festival

I took a few pictures today. B.C. said re-set the table, oh yea , I had about 4,027 pieces on it.
The arrangement of leaves makes me happy each time I see it. I ran across the street to the woods and clipped a bunch of branches in about 5 min. Who needs a florist.
The kale was pretty dressed in gold.

Every year my dear neighbors and friends host THE ANNUAL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL. It's a progressive dinner with one rule - your dish must contain pumpkin. This is by far my favorite party, dinner, celebration,get together of the year. Believe me there are a few too. I think I lay in bed,starting after New Years, thinking how I will decorate my table for the next Pumpkin Festival. One year I used just white pumpkins, cutting them out like cream ware (so Martha) Another year I glittered bags of bones and had dry ice to make it spooky. I think we all dressed like witches that year. This year I used kale and cabbage in black baskets mixed with ornamental peppers. I gold leafed some pumpkins and sprayed the kale gold. Oh yea,I forgot to take pictures. I was so intent on lighting candles and making sure everything was perfect it slipped my mind. ( Maybe the pumpkin martini's at Linda's helped.) But I will share my entree recipe with you for Pumpkin Lasagna, It was delicious, and I will make it again. A special thanks to Linda with appetizers of pumpkin cheese sticks , pumpkin dip and best of all her cocktails. Carol with her unbelievable pumpkin soup and salad with pumpkin seeds. Mary who's pumpkin cake kept me off my diet today. Dotty and Noble- Dotty's husband who made pumpkin truffle while Dotty was working) It was a great night.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and spices, to taste
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded romano cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 pound cooked lasagna noodles


In a large heavy skillet, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add sausage and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add zucchini and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside.

In a medium pot combine tomato sauce and red wine and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste. If desired, add more spices to your liking. (I usually add dry oregano, basil, and parsley). Reduce heat to low, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl mixing together the ricotta, mozzarella and romano cheeses. Add eggs, pumpkin puree and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix very well. You might want to add more spices to the filling. (You can add a pinch of cinnamon and it gave it a different flavor.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Build your lasagna in a large (9 by 12-inch) baking dish starting with a layer of sauce, a layer of pasta, a layer of half the sausage and a layer of half the 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 some mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

I did make home made noodles and they make all the difference. Just don't try and cut the recipe in half after Friday night cocktails.

Makes about 4 pounds

  • 2 cups '00' flour or all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 16 to 18 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Semolina flour, for dusting


  1. Place '00' or all-purpose flour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. In a large bowl, mix together yolks, milk, salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. With the mixer on low, slowly add egg mixture to flour; mix until well combined. Increase mixer speed to medium and knead until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer dough to work surface and knead in remaining tablespoon oil. Cover dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours before rolling or store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 day.
  3. Dust work surface lightly with semolina flour.
  4. Divide pasta dough into 5 pieces and flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Roll each piece of dough through a pasta machine, working from the largest setting to the smallest setting, and passing the dough through each setting twice. Using a sharp knife, cut pasta sheets into 13-inch-long pieces. Lay pasta sheets on prepared work surface, covered with a damp kitchen towel as you work.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare and ice-water bath. Generously salt ice-water bath and set aside. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, and immediately transfer to ice-water bath. Line a baking sheet with kitchen towels and transfer dough to baking sheet, layering kitchen towels between cooked pasta.

Read more at Homemade Lasagna Noodles - Martha Stewart Recipes

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