Sweet and Spicy Sausage Lasagna

I’m officially back in the kitchen after welcoming my son Jack into the world on December 27! It was great to be able to devote my time to him for so many weeks, but I am now so happy to be cooking again.

After all of these weeks, I knew my first post back had to be my Sausage Lasagna, a meal I’ve made for John for his last few birthdays. I have to admit, I had a very rough time transitioning into motherhood, and John was always there for me, taking care of the home and whatever I needed while I took care of Jack. Once I could finally make dinner for him again, it had to be this lasagna.

I looked at a lot of recipes when I first was attempting to make lasagna for John, but what I didn’t love was how many ingredients were in the sauce. The sauce always seemed too heavy in what is an already heavy meal. For this, I kept it pretty simple and light. You can even make the sauce on it’s own for pasta.

For the meat, I love the mixture of sweet and spicy sausage. It gives a bit of kick, but not overpowering. You can of course do either or, or even use ground beef or turkey instead – whatever you prefer!

And for the mozzarella cheese, I use sliced deli mozzarella cheese (not fresh and not shredded). After using a few different types, I prefer the sliced deli cheese as it creates an even layer, and ensures every single bite is full of cheesy goodness.

Once assembled and baked, you’ll have a super cheesy and delicious lasagna that is perfect to serve while it’s still cool out.

Hope you love it as much as John does! Enjoy!

Sausage Lasagna
 
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • SAUCE
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2, 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, hard stem end removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 pounds sausage removed from casing (mix of spicy and sweet)
  • RICOTTA MIXTURE
  • 32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs mozzarella cheese, sliced (you will most likely have some slices left over)
  • 1 box dry lasagna noodles
Instructions
  1. Start with the sauce
  2. Add tomatoes to a large bowl, crush with hands and remove hard stem end (tip: crush each tomato under the sauce so it doesn't splatter all over you!)
  3. In a dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat
  4. Add onion and cook for a few minutes until they have turned translucent
  5. Then add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes
  6. Then add tomatoes, stir to combine
  7. Add 2 big pinches of salt and one big pinch of pepper (taste again once sauce is cooked to make sure salt and pepper is to your liking)
  8. Cook covered for an hour, stirring occasionally
  9. While sauce is cooking, remove sausage from casing and cook in a large pan over medium high heat until crispy, breaking up with a wooden spoon
  10. After an hour of cooking the sauce, turn off heat and add basil
  11. Add about half of the sauce to the pan with sausage, stir to combine (this gives you non-meat sauce to coat the bottom of the lasagna pan with and to top each slice when serving)
  12. Next cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente
  13. Drain and lay each noodle out flat (not on top of each other - I usually do this on sheets of foil) to prepare for assembly
  14. Next prepare the ricotta mixture
  15. In a large bowl add ricotta cheese, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano, eggs and salt and pepper. Stir to combine
  16. Now onto assembly!
  17. In a 9x13 pan, add a thin layer of non-meat sauce
  18. Add a layer of noodles
  19. Add half of the ricotta mixture
  20. Add ⅓ of the sausage mixture
  21. Add slices of mozzarella to cover entire surface
  22. Repeat noodles, ricotta, sausage and mozzarella steps one more time
  23. Lastly, add another layer of noodles and top with remaining sauce and a final layer of mozzarella cheese
  24. Cover with foil and add to oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees
  25. Bake for 40 min covered, remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden
  26. Rest for 15 minutes before serving
  27. Once sliced, top with extra non-meat sauce

 

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