Traditional recipes

Mushroom and Sausage Lasagnetta

Mushroom and Sausage Lasagnetta


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Make lasagna look fancy at your next dinner party!

Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

This recipe from Brooklyn's Roman eatery Antica Pesa introduces a creative way to prepare lasagna as a single serving. It's also a great way to change up the lasagna fillings for each guest based on preference or dietary restrictions.

Notes

This lasagna can also be made as one large family-style dish using the traditional layering method.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 10 eggs
  • 9 Cups all-purpose flour

For the filling

  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 4 1/4 Cups milk
  • 6 Italian sausages
  • 2 1/4 Pounds fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Teaspoons dry thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble

  • 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
  • Pasta dough
  • Mushroom and sausage filling
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.


Lasagna with Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

Like you need another lasagna recipe, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. In point of fact, I’ve made a bazillion lasagnas over the years, and I don’t really have a recipe. But with the neighbors coming to dinner (that would be my daughter and her beautiful family), I wanted to make a better lasagna one that I knew would hold together when sliced and would hit all the right flavor notes. And I decided I really did want a recipe. Like written down. With words, instructions, and measurements, and I would write this one myself.

In the past few years I’ve been inclined towards the lighter lasagna version (wafer thin, homemade pasta sheets layered with a silky béchamel sauce, cheese and spinach). But this time I was hankering for the old fashioned, hearty sort of lasagna with layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, mozzarella, etc. As much as I love that ricotta layer in lasagnas, I also love a béchamel layer, and most lasagnas usually have one or the other. So after pondering which to use, I decided on both. Yep, I mean what’s a good lasagna without a bit of excess?!

So I decided to make a bechamel sauce and mix some ricotta cheese in with it. And I must say, people, it was lovely…. creamy, silky, cheesy – just what I was hoping to find between those layers of noodles and sauce.

But, alas, one of the potentially sad and tragic things about making a lasagna is that moment when you slice it, and as you serve it, all of those beautiful layers slide ever so un-cooly across the plate. In the interest of avoiding that moment at all costs, I decided I wanted to create a lasagna with structure that would hold together and stand tall when sliced. And I discovered that there are two crucial requirements to creating lasagna architecture, the first being not to overcook the noodles, and the second being to apply the ingredients of each layer sparingly.

Of course, a really good lasagna not only looks wonderful, but it must be moist and taste awesome. To that end, each component must be flavorful and tasty, and I do believe that we have accomplished that here. To amp up the sauce, I blended in some sun-dried tomatoes to give it an extra punch of flavor, and I used spicy Italian sausage and flavorful crimini mushrooms, which bring loads of flavor to the party.

Then there’s the whole lasagna noodle debate… boil or no-boil. I am definitely a member of the old school party where we buy our noodles dry and boil them to al dente perfection before assemblage. If you like the oven-ready variety, go ahead and use them… wait, no don’t. Really, I just can’t go there. I tried. I know, lasagna is a rather labor-intensive proposition, but if you’re going to commit to it, just do it. Boil your noodles… your lasagna will thank you. Is it OK that I said that?

Yes, people, making a good lasagna is going to take you a little while. But if you have the time set aside, it can be lots of fun. Yes, fun… I find that plugging my Ipod into the sound system and throwing some tunes into the room creates the perfect ambiance for lasagna-making . Yes, people, we must sing, we must dance while we make lasagna. Maroon5, Mama Mia, the Black-Eyed Peas, it doesn’t matter…. just pour yourself a glass of wine, turn up the volume and get it done.



Comments:

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