Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sausage Lasagna

Thanksgiving is just a week away! I'm so excited for all the family, the colors, and the food! We're having two Thanksgiving meals, one this Sunday at my house, and one on Thanksgiving Day. I'm pretty blessed to have all my family close enough to get together with them all. (Probably even more blessed to have family that I enjoy getting together with. Haha!)

In the meantime, while I'm dreaming up side dishes and turkey formulas, my family still needs to eat dinner. Enter this Sausage Lasagna.

If you are looking for a meal that will feed an army, Sausage Lasagna is for you. If you are looking for a meal that will feed your family from now until Thanksgiving, Sausage Lasagna is for you. If your name happens to be Garfield, Sausage get the idea.

Sausage Lasagna was born from a delicious dinner at a friend's house and the need to improvise. Prior to a Harry Potter family movie night with some friends, we did dinner and the main dish was the amazing Pioneer Woman's Best Lasagna Ever. It was about the best lasagna ever. So when I found out there was no ricotta cheese in it,  (husband hates ricotta), I knew I wanted to make it myself!

So, I buy what I think I need, go to start cooking and realize I'm short on time and a few key ingredients. No biggie. I'll just improvise.

This Sausage Lasagna uses part Italian sausage and part breakfast sausage. The beautiful thing about that combination is that it isn't overly anise flavored, and the pork adds to the creaminess of the cheeses. Of course you could substitute some ground beef for the pork, but at some point it is no longer Sausage Lasagna. And lest the lack of ricotta turn you off, let me assure you that you won't miss it. I used to swear I didn't like cottage cheese in my lasagna and it tasted awful, but I've changed my tune. This Sausage Lasagna holds nothing back when it comes to cheese: 3 cups cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan, and 1 pound of shredded mozzarella (plus more because who is measuring that, really?)

When shopping, the price may look a bit daunting for one meal, probably $12-$15, but let me remind you that this is not just one meal, unless you are feeding 12 hungry adults. The first night, my family, (there are 6 of us here), ate just about 1/4 of the pan. We've had it for dinner 3 times, plus lunches, and I'm not sick of it. You could also divide the recipe into 2 smaller, freezer-friendly pans, or even bake the entire lasagna and freeze it in individual portion sized containers.

I can't promise this is the most authentic recipe ever, but I can say this is the best Sausage Lasagna I've ever had, and I think you'll like it too!

Sausage Lasagna

  • 8 lasagna noodles (yup, only 8)
  • 1 1/2 lbs Italians sausage
  • 1 1/2 lbs breakfast sausage
  • 2 tbs garlic minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
  • 2 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning, divided
  • 3 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 lb mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9"x13" pan with cooking spray. Boil lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain noodles and lay them on a flat surface to cool.
  2. In a large skillet or pot, combine sausage and garlic. Cook sausage thoroughly. Drain grease.
  3. In same pot, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix cottage cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, eggs, salt, and 1 tbs Italian seasoning. 
  5. Assemble lasagna: In 9"x13" pan, lay 4 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping if needed. Spread 1/2 cottage cheese mixture over noodles. Top with 1/2 mozzarella, and then just under 1/2 the meat mixture. Repeat, starting with another layer of noodles. and finally topping with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and heated through.

Bake the bread. Share the slices. 

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