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Sausage Lasagna

No-boil lasagna noodles, which do not need to be precooked, are widely available. Layer these dried pasta sheets as you would boiled pasta. The no-cook noodles will absorb liquid and cook during baking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese, about 1 lb.
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato-basil sauce, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased
  • 1 lb. no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Cook the sausage
In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the sausage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate and set aside.

Assemble the lasagna
Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, milk and nutmeg.

On the bottom of a 10-by-12-by-2-inch baking dish, spread about 1/4 cup of the tomato-basil sauce. Cover with a single layer of lasagna noodles without overlapping them. Spread the noodles with one-third of the remaining sauce, followed by half of the ricotta mixture and one-third of the sausage. Add another layer of noodles and top with one-third of the sauce, the remaining ricotta mixture and one-third of the sausage. Top with another layer of noodles and the remaining sauce and sausage and then cover with an even layer of mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake the lasagna
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the noodles are tender and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).