A Not-So-Basic Thanksgiving Side: Pumpkin Lasagna with Gouda, Pancetta + Parmesan Cream Sauce


Want to make a not-so-basic Thanksgiving side this year? Then you’ve gotta try this sweet and savory pumpkin and squash lasagna recipe that will blow all other squash, pumpkin, and sweet potato recipes out of the water… or umm gravy boat I should say? I developed this recipe for my homies at Wisconsin Cheese a few years back and since then it has been a staple among my Thanksgiving spreads. You’re gonna be so happy when you try it. Just like these cute little babies. I swear.

Recipe Serves 10-12


24 oz Wisconsin Ricotta cheese
15 oz (1 can) pumpkin puree
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
2 cups pancetta, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cups butternut squash chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
7 tbsp butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp flour
1 quart of heavy cream
5 1/2 oz grated Wisconsin Parmesan cheese
4 oz grated Wisconsin Gouda cheese (black pepper)
1 lb lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions
Salt & pepper


Ricotta Mixture: Combine Ricotta, pumpkin puree, nutmeg, cinnamon, raw sugar, and salt to taste.

Butternut Squash Mixture: over medium heat, cook pancetta until crispy and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. Add onions and a pinch of salt into remaining grease and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add chopped butternut squash, 2 tbsp of butter, 1 tbsp salt and stir; cover and cook until butternut squash is soft when pierced with fork; about 10-15 minutes. Add in cooked pancetta, removed from heat and set aside.

Cream Sauce: Over medium heat, melt 5 tbsp of butter and add shallots and bay leaves, stirring occasionally until soft; about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour; cook for two minutes. Slowly add heavy cream, whisking often, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until thickened and sauce coats the back of the spoon; about twelve minutes. Remove bay leaves. Gradually whisk in Parmesan (reserve 1 cup for later) and all of the Gouda (black pepper bellavitano) and stir until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Add 1/4 cup of cream sauce to a greased 9×13 baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread on 1/3 of the Ricotta mixture and cover with another layer of noodles. Add half of the butternut squash mixture and cover with 1/4 of the cream sauce. Add another layer of noodles and top with 1/3 of the Ricotta mixture. Repeat layering one more time. Finish with a layer of noodles, remaining cream sauce, and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan cheese. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove tinfoil and broil until the top is golden and crispy. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Scrambled Eggs, Tomato + Hot Sauce Grilled Cheese

Scrambled Eggs, tomato, hot sauce grilled cheese socialLast month was National American Cheese Month (omg! yay!) and I had the pleasure of receiving some really awesome American-made Cheeses to play around with. So instead of doing pilates and going on a run – like I said I would… whoops – I avoided the cold weather at all costs and only hung out at Whole Foods Brooklyn and my apartment, spending my time concocting some brain melting sandwiches. Because hey – work/sandwich life is important this time of year, ok? Anyways, this ooey gooey breakfast sandwich features Alpha Tolman, one of my favorite cheeses from The Cellars at Jasper Hill, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, chives, and a ton of Melinda’s garlic habanero hot sauce between two crisp, buttery slices of Texas Toast. It may be sort of heavy for the mornings, but it will definitely make waking up at the crack of dawn not suck. I swearz.

Get the recipe from my About.com Sandwich Expert page [HERE].

alpha tolman grilled cheese jasper hill cellars

A Shitty (yet delicious!) Bodega-Style Bacon, Egg + Cheese Sandwich

Bodega Style Bacon, Egg and CheeseIf you’ve lived in or have ever visited New York City, you’re probably well aware of the plethora of bodegas that stud our streets. And sure, they may provide us with slightly chilled bottles of water on a hot as heck summer day, “aged” chocolate bars that have bloomed (yes, I didn’t know this was a real thing until I moved up here), and of course - BODEGA CATS!

But our bodegas are more than that, they also help countless New Yorkers get breakfast on the run. These soggy yet delicious kaiser bun sandwiches, filled with thin bacon, melty kraft singles, and scrambled eggs, cost $3 (and come with a small coffee and sometimes ketchup or hots auce!) and are a staple among us city dwellers.

Wanna know the trick? Check out my About.com Sandwich Expert page [HERE].

A Not-So-Boring Veggie Sandwich With 3 Pickles and Hummus

Not Boring Vegetable Sandwich

I’ll be totally honest here when I say that it’s hard to make a vegetarian sandwich that excites me (…unless it’s a grilled cheese of course… duh!) But it doesn’t have to be like that! Say goodbye to lifeless limp vegetables and start piling on some pickled vegetables, some savory protein-packed hummus, and crisp, fresh produce. By switching up the ingredients, you can create a sandwich that’s anything but boring.

Get the recipe from my About.com Sandwich Expert Page right [HERE].

A Super Legit Ybor-Style Cuban Sandwich… OMG

Classic Ybor-style Cuban Sandwich

I spent about 8 years of my childhood in the Tampa Bay area, which… if you didn’t know, is pretty much The Cuban Sandwich capital of the world. I can tell you that this deliciously pressed pocket of awesomeness and I have some history and we go way back. Like way way back before I really even knew what it meant to have an awesome sandwich. It’s everything you’ve ever watned – salty, rich, crispy, meaty, and tangy! Umm brb I think I need to go get another bite. Ok, back.  And to be totally honest, you don’t have to go to Tampa, Miami or Cuba to find the perfect Cuban sandwich. With this simple and easy recipe, you can make it right at home!

Get the recipe on my Sandwich Expert page on About.com right [HERE].


The Cutest Ham and Cheese Biscuits in the World

The cutest ham and cheese biscuit sandwiches everFlaky biscuits, smokey fried ham, buttery muenster cheese and sweet honey butter makes these miniature Southern heart-shaped (OMG CUTE!) sandwiches perfect for picnics, parties, and binge eating when you’re depressed and have no ice cream. Each bite is packed with Southern goodness and the heart shape adds an extra layer of fun and romance… even when it’s lacking in real life. I swear I’m not sad today, but I do recommend serving them with like 1 thousand mimosas and a few of your favorite hot sauces.

Get my recipe from my Sandwich Expert page on About.com [HERE].