I’m part Italian and I have been surrounded by Italian food my whole life. Yes, I know I’m a lucky girl! I have definitely tried eating and preparing my share of lasagna recipes, both meat and vegetarian. I love a nice, thick, hearty lasagna that sticks together like a big fat brick. It has always been a little tricky for me to achieve that consistency when I’ve made it in the past. Sometimes I get it right, but other times it’s too soupy or too dry.
My mother gave me the Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook as a gift a few years ago, and it quickly became one of my favorite go-to sources for reliable recipes. I had had the turkey sausage lasagna recipe bookmarked for ages and I thought it was finally time to give it a try. This recipe will definitely remain bookmarked for future use! This dish was the perfect consistency, and we really loved the flavor of the turkey sausage. I also liked that I didn’t need to pre-cook the lasagna noodles. This is definitely a great twist on an old classic, and because it was made with turkey instead of pork, we felt a little less guilty about going in for seconds.
Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
Source: Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shopped yellow onion (about 1 medium-sized onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one 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, two tablespoons of the parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.
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.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 x 12 x 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading it over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half of the pasta, half of the mozzarella, half of the ricotta, and another third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.
To make ahead, cover the assembled lasagna with foil and refrigerate. Bake for 30-40 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly.