- 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 6 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 15 lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces)
- 2 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
- 4 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. Add beef and sausages to pan; sauté until cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce measures about 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; cover with cold water.
Combine ricotta and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Mix in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.
Drain pasta and pat dry. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of 13x9-inch glass baking dish. Place 5 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit. Spread half of ricotta-spinach mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta-spinach mixture. Spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese, spreading with spatula to cover (sauce will be thick). Repeat layering with 5 noodles, remaining ricotta-spinach mixture, 2 cups mozzarella and 1 1/2 cups sauce. Arrange remaining 5 noodles over sauce. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over lasagna. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna 40 minutes; uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving.
- 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup water
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 pieces
- 6 ounces Italian Fontina, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the noodles to a bowl of cold water and let stand for 2 minutes, then drain. Pat the noodles dry. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the Italian sausage, cover and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned all over. Add the water, cover and simmer until the sausage is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage and its poaching liquid and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Coarsely break up the sausage and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
In a well-buttered, 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, arrange 3 lasagna noodles in different directions in the dish, leaving about 2 inches of overhang. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over each lasagna noodle and sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Set a piece of mozzarella and Fontina on each lasagna noodle and add a few chunks of sausage. Fold the overhanging lasagna noodles on top of the cheese and sausage. Repeat the process with the remaining lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella, Fontina and sausage, sprinkling with a little more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Brush the softened butter on any bare pasta and curly edges and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake the lasagna on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble. Raise the oven temperature to 450° and bake for about 7 minutes longer, until the top is richly browned. Let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes, then scatter the sliced basil on top, cut into squares and serve.
- 1 pound dry ziti pasta
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
- 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
- 1 ½ cups sour cream
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes drain.
In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
This recipe can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. Leftovers also hold up well in the freezer: Package individual slices in parchment-lined foil and store in a freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, bake, still wrapped in foil, at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Reserve any remaining meat sauce for another use, such as tossing with pasta for a quick supper, sandwiching between potato buns for sloppy Joes, or serving with fried eggs for breakfast.
Sweet Sausage and Three Cheese Lasagna RecipeI’m a creature of habit. So when I make tomato sauce, there’s a rhythm and order of things or it’s not quite right – like sauce super.
I’m a creature of habit. So when I make tomato sauce, there’s a rhythm and order of things or it’s not quite right – like sauce superstitions of some sort.
It starts by opening a bottle of red wine and pouring myself a glass before adding some to the onions I have to slice the garlic paper thin like when they cooked in prison in Goodfellas (remember?) then I have to play at least one Dino or Frank song, preferably while the sauce is simmering.
An Italian American Classic
And, when it comes to making lasagna, I have approximately 19,000 versions but my happy place is my Mom’s version, this Sweet Sausage and Three Cheese Lasagna. It’s a ridiculously easy (no béchamel to speak of) crowd pleasing take on Italian-American lasagna made with ricotta, mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage, and an easy homemade tomato sauce.
There's no fuss about it and it's really comforting – especially since it’s got loads and loads of cheese. I mean, high-quality ricotta and a well-made tomato sauce is my Kryptonite, people! We should reiterate that this is not a traditional recipe that you'll come across when you travel to Italy but rather a homey family recipe that's been tweaked and altered through the years by my Italian-American family.
Variations On This Recipe
Also, it's a dish you can make ahead by baking it and then freezing it or freezing it unbaked and then baking it about twice the time listed here once you do make it. Also, this is ripe for variations.
Make it vegetarian by nixing the sausage. Add in smoked provolone instead of the mozzarella for another layer of flavor. Stir garlicky sauteed greens into the ricotta. Or even add a few dollops of basil pesto to the top just before serving.
Just don't make it overly complicated because the beauty of this recipe is that it's simple, straightforward, and reliably delicious.
What To Serve With This Lasagna
You'll want to serve this salad with something that's vinegary, bright, and light so it can complement and contrast to the tomato and cheese in the lasagna. A salad with spicy greens is a great pairing. Here are a few we'd recommend:
Okay, now go stock up on all your cooking essentials then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
PIN IT FOR LATER
Pin this image so you can remember the recipe next time you need some cooking inspiration!
- Yield: 9X13 Dish
- Serving: 3
- Prep time: 60 m
- Cook time: 30 m
- Ready in: 1:45 h
- Add to Shopping List + ½ lb. lasagna noodles
- Add to Shopping List + 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Add to Shopping List + ½ lb. Italian sausage
- Add to Shopping List + 1 cup water
- Add to Shopping List + 4 large garlic cloves
- Add to Shopping List + 1 can whole tomatoes
- Add to Shopping List + Salt and pepper
- Add to Shopping List + ½ lb Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Add to Shopping List + ½ lb fresh mozzarella
- Add to Shopping List + 6 oz. Italian Fontina
- Add to Shopping List + 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Add to Shopping List + ¼ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Step by Step method
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until almost tender, about 5 mins. Drain and transfer the noodles to a bowl of ice water and let stand for 2 mins, then drain. Pat the noodles dry. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add the Italian sausage, cover, and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned all over. Add the water, cover, and simmer until the sausage is just cooked through, about 4 mins.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 3 mins. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage and its poaching liquid and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 12 mins.
Coarsely break up the sausage and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
In a well-buttered, 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, arrange 3 lasagna noodles in different directions in the dish, leaving about 2 inches of overhang. Spoon a scant ¼ cup of the tomato sauce over each lasagna noodle and sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Set a piece of mozzarella and Fontina on each lasagna noodle and add a few chunks of sausage. Fold the overhanging lasagna noodles on top of the cheese and sausage. Repeat the process with the remaining lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella, Fontina, and sausage, sprinkling with a little more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Brush the softened butter on any bare pasta and curly edges and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake the lasagna on the top rack of the oven for 20 mins, until the sauce starts to bubble. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for about 7 mins. longer, until the top is richly browned. Let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes, then scatter the sliced basil on top, cut into squares, and serve.
Three Cheese Lasagna Roll Ups with Sausage
These Three Cheese Lasagna Roll Ups are a super easy family-friendly that can be prepped and in the oven in about twenty minutes. For a complete entertainment-worthy meal, combine with Italian Chopped Salad with Fresh Italian Dressing and Triple Cheese Garlic Bread.
- ¾ pounds Fresh Italian Sausage
- 1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 8 Lasagna Noodles
- 1 cup Mozzarella, Shredded
- 1 cup Provel Ropes Or Provolone Shredded
- ½ cups Fresh Grated Parmesan
- 2-½ cups Marinara Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
Cook lasagna noodles according to box directions.
Brown sausage in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion about halfway through the browning process, cooking approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30–60 seconds, stirring constantly.
Lay noodles out on large prep area. Divide sausage mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly. Spread half of each type of shredded cheese over the noodles. Roll noodles up and place seam side down in casserole coated with a thin layer of marinara. Top with remaining cheese and marinara.
Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is light browned. Sprinkle with parsley.
World's Best Lasagna
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Pro tip and recipe notes
- Once the noodles are cooked, drain most of the hot water and run cold water over the noodles. Then carefully take them out of the cool water one by one and stack them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper between each layer. This will keep them from sticking while they cool until you’re ready to assemble your lasagna.
- If you’re going to make my homemade quick easy marinara sauce, do that an hour before starting your lasagna and simmer it on the back burner of your stove.
How to freeze skillet lasagna
To make this dish even faster, you could make the sauce and freeze it. I wouldn&rsquot add the pasta until you&rsquore ready to simmer because cooked pasta that gets frozen then thawed can turn a bit mushy.
To freeze, cook up the onions, garlic, and sausage. Add the tomatoes and spices then cool to room temperature. Transfer to an air tight container or zip lock bag and freeze flat (so it thaws faster). Thaw overnight in the fridge or drop the whole frozen brick into a pot on medium heat with a bit of water, cover and be patient while it thaws&ndashprobably close to 20 minutes.
Once bubbling, add the pasta pieces and proceed with the recipe.