Four-Cheese Sweet Italian Pork Sausage Lasagna

This lasagna is PURE indulgence. When you eat it, you will immediately feel comforted and happy. I have made this recipe several times, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

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This is a cheese lover’s lasagna as well as a meat lover’s lasagna as well as a tomato lover’s lasagna. It is so delicious. Also, the sauce is great on its own with pasta and sometimes I make just the sauce for a quick dinner with pasta.

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The flavor is so rich and the four cheeses (ricotta, mozzarella, goat cheese, and parmigiano-reggiano) meld together perfectly. I especially love the nutty, buttery flavor that the goat cheese adds.

And let’s be honest: anything topped with parmigiano-reggiano has to be delicious. This dish will not disappoint.

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This recipe makes SO much lasagna! It is a great recipe to make ahead, assemble, and store in the fridge and then bake before you are ready to eat. And the leftovers will taste just as great as when you eat it the first time!

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Four-Cheese Sweet Italian Pork Sausage Lasagna

Adapted from Food Network

Makes 8 generous portions

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian pork sausage (if in casings, remove)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley (divided into 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp )
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (divided into 1 1/2 tsp and 1/2 tsp )
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper (divided into 1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 lb lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (divided into 1 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 lb mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large skillet (with high edges), heat olive oil over medium low. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for additional minute. Add sausage and increase heat to medium, cooking and breaking up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tbsp of parsley, all of the basil, 1 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer (uncovered) over medium-low hear for 20 minutes. The sauce should thicken.

While sauce is simmering, fill a large bowl with hot tap water. Add the noodles (breaking if necessary to make sure all are under the water) and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes and then remove noodles.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of the parmigiano-reggiano, egg, remaining 2 tbsp parsley, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp pepper. Store in fridge until you are ready to use it.

Assemble the lasagna. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce in 9 x 13 x 2 rectangular baking dish. Spread the sauce over the bottom. Then add layers: 1/2 of the pasta, 1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/2 of the ricotta,  1/3 of the sauce, rest of the pasta, rest of the mozzarella, rest of the ricotta, rest of the sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the parmigiano-reggiano on the top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling hot.

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