Thursday, April 26, 2012

W Worlds BEST Lasagna

I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa, AKA Ina Garten. Her recipes have never let me down, ever. Her brownies are insane, her pasta dishes perfect, and her Lasagna is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I've included this recipe because I'm craving it soooo bad. I've been trying to cut back on carbs through the week and I've noticed a huge difference in my waistline. But after a couple weeks, I'm sooo treating myself to this. 

Two tips. 
1. Do not, I repeat, do NOT skip the goat cheese in this recipe. I promise you won't regret it. Trader Joes has a perfect little log of goat cheese that is not over priced (as goat cheese logs can be!). It adds the most amazing element to the lasagna. Just a slight tang that is delicious!!!

2. You don't have to use turkey sausage. It's good, no doubt, but I've used a mix of ground beef and Italian sausage and had amazing results. 

Make this soon!!! You will NOT be disappointed!!

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage (Serves 8)
Copyright, 2002 Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Photo: Maura McEvoy
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Barefoot Contessa Family Style
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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 x 12 x 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.
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