The other week, I found myself craving lasagna. Lasagna is not a dish that I make often, I think I’ve made it a total of 4 times, ever. It’s one of those dishes that is delicious, yes, but it feeds an army so when you’ve only got 2 people to feed you need to be prepared to eat it for about 2 weeks after for both lunch and dinner. It also takes time to make between assembly and baking time so it’s not usually a good weeknight recipe. All the same, I wanted it and I wanted it now. I decided to look up a new recipe and found one by Barefoot Contessa using turkey sausage that sounded great.
To start, cook the onion for 5 minutes in hot oil over medium-low heat and then add the garlic, cooking for another minute.
Add the turkey sausage (with the casing removed) and cook, breaking up with the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and spices and cook for another 20 minutes to thicken.
While the sauce is thickening, the recipe calls for you to soak the lasagna noodles in hot water to soften them. I was able to find fresh sheets of lasagna noodles in the section where they keep the fresh pasta at the grocery store so I skipped this step. I would assume you can also use the no-cook noodles if you want.
Now, mix together the cheese mixture.
It’s time to assemble the lasagna. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Start by covering the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of sauce.
Add a layer of noodles.
Add a layer of the cheese mixture.
Now repeat the layers 2 more times and top with a layer of sauce and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Slice and serve with garlic bread.
The sausage added wonderful flavor and a little bit of heat to this recipe. I’ll definitely make it again and its perfect for those of you who don’t eat red meat out there!
Here’s the recipe from foodnetwork.com:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ pound lasagna noodles
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus ¼ cup for sprinkling
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1½ teaspoons of the salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
- Ladle ⅓ of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one ⅓ of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.