Turkey Sausage Lasagna

Lasagna is definitely a labor of love.  It’s a very time consuming dish to prepare (my husband could not believe how long I spent in the kitchen making it!), but it’s well worth it in the end!  The combination of sauce, cheese, pasta, and sausage is just perfect!  And, the aroma it creates while baking in the oven gets your taste buds going before you eat!

I combined two recipes for this lasagna.  Both are from foodnetwork.com.  The first was an Ina Garten recipe.  The second was an Ellie Krieger one.  I think the combination of the two was superb!  I used the best of both to create an even better version.

Start with the sausage sauce…

  • Chop 1 yellow onion and 4 cloves of garlic.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic.

  • Cook until tender and translucent.

  • Open 1 package of turkey sausage.  (I used sweet.  Use hot if you want a kick.  You could also definitely use pork if you prefer.)

  • Slice the casings of each sausage link.

  • Remove the sausage meat from the casings and add it to the softened onions and garlic.

  • Break the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned.

  • While the meat cooks, mince up some fresh parsley and chiffonade some basil.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Season with salt and add 12 lasagna noodles.  Cook according to the package’s instructions.  (You can definitely use no-boil noodles if you prefer.  I was bringing this to a friend’s house and assembled it 2 days in advance, so I was weary to use them.  If you are baking right away though, it will be fine!)
  • Once the meat browns, add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes in tomato puree.

  • Add 1 small can of tomato paste.

  • Sprinkle in the minced parsley.

  • Add the basil.

  • Mix well then season with 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

  • Add 1.5 teaspoons salt.

  • Stir well and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens.

  • While the sauce simmers, defrost 1 box of frozen spinach.  Squeeze out all excess liquid.

  • Add 1.5 small containers of ricotta to a large bowl.

  • Add the spinach.

  • Break 1 egg into a small bowl and beat it lightly.

  • Add the egg to the ricotta and spinach.

  • Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

  • Add a pinch of ground nutmeg.

  • Mix everything well.

  • When the sauce and the noodles are finished, you’re ready to assemble!
  • Add a small amount of the sauce to the bottom of 9” X 13” baking dish.

  • Place 3 lasagna noodles on top.  (I had major problems in the beginning with my noodles.  They kept breaking!  The end result was just fine though, so don’t worry if you have similar problems.)

  • Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles.

  • Add 1/3 of the turkey sausage sauce on top of the ricotta.

  • Sprinkle on some shredded mozzarella cheese.

  • Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles.  (This time, I had a much easier time!)

  • Repeat the layers (the rest of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 turkey sausage sauce, mozzarella, more noodles).
  • Spread the rest of the sauce over the noodles.

  • Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top.

  • Add some more shredded mozzarella.

  • You’re ready to bake now!  (You can also store in the fridge for 1-2 days and then bake like I did.)

How yummy does that look?!

Whether you’re baking now or later, cover with foil.

Bake covered at 375 for about 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes until the cheese is melted.

I completely forgot to take pictures when it came out of the oven.  I remembered after 9 people had already dug in…

It may look messy, but it was delicious!  Enjoy!

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