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The recipe in today’s post is adapted from a lasagna recipe by Ina Garten.  I’ve been making it for years and it turns out wonderful every time.  It’s from her Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook. 

You could certainly skip the part with making your own red sauce with the Italian sausage, but I wouldn’t.  In her original recipe she uses Italian turkey sausage, but I’ve used the real stuff (of course, it’s a few more calories).  If you have the time, follow the recipe exactly.  You won’t be disappointed.

The one addition to the usual cheese-egg mixture in her recipe is the addition of goat cheese.  Ahhh, goat cheese…


However, if you were to ask me in front of my Italian mother what lasagna is my favorite.  Well, you should know the answer…Mom’s of course. {wink}

Chopping an onion while the skillet is heating.

About 1 cup of chopped yellow onion.

Italian sausage is added after the onion and garlic have been cooked (translucent).

Fresh basil for the sauce.

Just about to crumble the goat cheese and incorporate it into the ricotta-egg mixture.

Fresh mozarella is sliced and added to the lasagna layers.

Freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano was added to the top before baking.


Lasagna with Italian Sausage


2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb sweet Italian bulk sausage

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, divided

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb lasagna noodles (I used 8 total)

15-ounce container of part skim ricotta cheese

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1  1/4 cup grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Add sausage and continue cooking for 8 minutes or until no longer pink (sausage should be crumbled).  Drain.  Return sausage-onion mixture to skillet and add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tbsp of the parsley, basil, 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and 4 grinds of black pepper (from pepper mill).  Simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes over low heat until thickened.

While the sauce is simmering, fill a large mixing bowl with hot water.  Add the noodles to the water and let them soak for 20 minutes.  After 10 minutes, pull the noodles out and put them into the water with the other end.  Drain.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of grated Parmagiano-Reggiano, the egg and 1 1/2 tbsp parsley, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, and 3 grinds of black pepper (from pepper mill).  Set aside.

Ladle a third of the sauce into a baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish.  Add the layers: half the lasagna noodles, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta mixture, and one third of the sauce.  Add the rest of the lasagna noodles, mozzarella, ricotta mixture, and lastly the sauce.   Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmagiano-Reggiano.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tbsp of chopped parsley.

Yield: serves 8