Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food and is so easy to make ahead so you don’t have to do anything when it’s dinner time besides pop it in the oven. Have you tried to do other pasta dishes where you have splattering sauce…sloshing boiling water…and everything needing to go together at the last minute? It’s not so much fun. But lasagna you can make ahead of time…even months ahead of time…and just bake when you’re ready to eat. And it’s easy to multiply the recipe to feed tons of people so easily. I love this recipe. It’s similar to your traditional lasagna but a couple of ingredients (spoiler: sausage and goat cheese) add so much flavor.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. mild Italian turkey or pork sausage, casings removed
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
8 oz. dry lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta cheese
4 oz. log of goat cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for the top
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 lb. shredded mozzarella
Splash of starchy pasta water.
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until cooked. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook gently for five minutes or so, until just browned.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes until thickened a bit.
Fill a large rectangular baking dish with very hot tap water. Add the lasagna noodles and soak in water for 20 minutes. Move the noodles around occasionally with a pair of tongs so they don’t stick. Drain most of the water but take care to leave a splash (1/4 cup or so) in the bottom of the baking dish. This will help the noodles to cook fully when baking and to thicken the sauce.
Place the noodles on a cutting board or baking sheet until ready to assemble the lasagna.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg, remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F if you’re ready to bake now.
Spoon a bit of the sauce into a 9X13-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce and pasta water over the bottom of the dish. Next layer half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and 1/2 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
At this point you can wrap the lasagna with plastic wrap, then foil and place in the fridge if you’re going to bake later in the same day. Or freeze for up to three months. Thaw frozen lasagna for 24 hours in the fridge before baking.
Bake, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the noodles are tender. Optional, broil the lasagna for 1-2 minutes if you like crispy edges. Rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.