Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

We had the Zinke's over for dinner last night and this is a recipe that Vanessa got from the Barefoot Contessa. It's so delicious, I can't wait to eat the leftovers (although there weren't many). This is such a great meal and it doesn't take any longer to make than regular lasagna, but (I think) it tastes so much better!!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 1/2 lb. italian turkey sausage (casings removed)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt (although we omitted this ingredient)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb lasagna noodles (about 6)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
3 to 4 oz creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb mozzerella (we used grated, but you can also buy fresh and slice it thin)

1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking it up, about 8-10 minutes, until no longer pink. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tbsp of parsley, the basil, 1-1/2 tsp salt (but, as I said, we didn't), and 1/2 tsp pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain. (Or you can just use the oven ready noodles!)

4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup parmesan cheese, the egg, the remaining 2 tbsp parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or not), and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set aside.

5. Ladle 1/3 sauce into a 9 x 12 x 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 mozerella, half the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 sauce. Then add the rest of the pasta, mozerella, ricotta mixture, and, finally, sauce! Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce bubbles.

You will love it!!! It sounds like a lot, but - as I said - it doesn't take any more effort than making regular lasagna. And (a big bonus for me) it doesn't use that many dishes. One cutting board, a big skillet, a mixing bowl, and a pan. Not too shabby!! Next time you are going to make lasagna - make this one instead. You will not be disappointed!!