The magic of sausage! It can take an ordinary lasagna and turn it into something special. Yet, even before the sausage, this is no ordinary lasagna. Fresh homemade pasta for the noodles, the Ricotta-Béchamel sauce from Chef Silvia’s Hand Rolled Lasagna and fresh mozzarella already take this to another level. Add the sausage and it’s breathing down the neck of the venerable Lasagna Verde Bolognese in the race for the title of my favorite lasagna.Print
For the Ricotta-Béchamel Filliing
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, chopped fine
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat (stuffing from 4 links)
- 1 35oz can of imported Italian tomatoes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 fresh basil leaves
- 1 recipe Ricotta-Béchamel Filliing
- 1 pound of fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 recipe of homemade fresh pasta rolled out and cut into 13 inch long pieces
Make the Ricotta-Béchamel Filliing
- Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Add the flour and stir with a wire whisk until it forms a paste.
- Slowly add the milk to the butter and flour mixture, whisking until smooth.
- Continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and smooth, it should coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from refrigerator, add the ricotta, salt and pepper, and stir until well combined.
Make The Lasagna
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sautè, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add sausage meat, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until sausage is browned approximately 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands then add them with their juices to the pan. Add ½ cup of water and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and let simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. At the very end of cooking, tear the basil leaves into pieces with your hands and stir into the sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In 3 batches add the lasagna sheets to the boiling water and cook until just under al dente. Remove the noodles from the pot using a slotted spoon, place in a colander, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and spread out on clean kitchen towels.
- Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of a 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Cover with a layer of 2 to 3 lasagna noodles, overlaping slightly to fit. Spread ⅓ of the Ricotta-Béchamel mixture on the noodles, top with 1 cup of the sauce. Spread ¼ of the mozzarella over the sauce. Sprinkle ¼ cup of parmaggiano-reggiano and top with a layer of lasagna noodles.
- Repeat this 2 more times. Cover the final layer of lasagna noodles with the remaining sauce and sprinkle remaining cup of mozzarella on top.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, place in oven and cook for 60 minutes. Remove foil and cook until cheese is melted about 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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