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Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

June 11, 2012

A good friend’s Dad recently had surgery and he is home recovering. I know her Mom doesn’t want to worry about cooking dinner in the evenings so I decided to bring some food over to their house. Whenever someone is caring for a sick family member – or a new baby or mourning the loss of a loved one – making food is a simple way to make life easier and show you care.

This lasagna is a comforting, cheesy and delicious. When I make it for myself, I use half hot Italian sausage and half sweet but if you are making it for someone else, I would recommend using all sweet.  You could also substitute pork or chicken sausage.  Usually, I bake the lasagna and eat it for a day or two then cut the remainder into individual portions for freezing.  Just wrap tightly in foil or in a small aluminum pan then put into a ziploc bag.  The night before, put lasagna into the fridge to thaw and bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes, until warm.

If bringing the lasagna as a gift, make it in a disposable aluminum pan so no one has to worry about getting a dish back to you. Packed with a salad, it’s a complete and quick meal.

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles (NOT no boil ones)
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3-4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan plus, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Put the lasagna noodles in a 9×12 baking dish (the one you are using for the lasagna is okay) and fill with the hottest tap water. Let noodles sit for 20 minutes until soft. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking up with a fork or spoon, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Ladle one third of the sauce into a 9x12x2-inch baking dish and spread over the bottom of the dish. Now, layer: half the noodles, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta mixture and one third of the sauce. Repeat with the rest of the noodles, mozzarella, ricotta mixture and the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

You can assemble the lasagna a day ahead of time, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbling.

To reheat, either microwave or bake in a 350° oven until warm, about 20-30 minutes.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    June 12, 2012 8:40 pm

    Great recipe! Looks fantastic and I love the tip about freezing the left overs.

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