by Susan Hanna

This recipe from Ina Garten consistently wins online debates about the best lasagne recipe. It does so for a couple of reasons: first, it uses turkey sausage, which makes for a lighter dish and second, you soak the noodles in hot water, avoiding the need to boil them. This recipe takes a while to make and assemble, but the results are excellent. Cook’s note: I couldn’t find turkey sausage, so I used a hot Italian pork sausage and it worked well. I also used cream cheese instead of goat cheese.

Serves 8.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for an all-natural sausage, such as Free From brand. I used Unico tomatoes, No Name tomato paste, Tre Stelle ricotta, Arla organic cream cheese and No Name mozzarella. Genuine Parmesan (look for the name on the rind) is always additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • One 28-ounce (793 g) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • One 6-ounce (170 g) can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound (226 g) lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces (425 g) ricotta cheese
  • 3 to 4 ounces (85 to 113 g) creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup (250 g) grated Parmesan, plus ¼ (60 ml) cup for sprinkling
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound (454 g) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large (10- to 12-inch/25- to 30-cm) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the parsley, the basil, 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) of the salt, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup (250 ml) of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of parsley, remaining ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt, and ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper. Set aside.
  5. Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9- by 12- by 2-inch (22- by 30- by 5-cm) rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with ¼ cup (60 ml) of Parmesan.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

From Ina Garten