A rich, cheesy and savory lasagna never goes out of style. This is a very old school recipe, with all of the classic appeal, but the Gouda and Havarti cheeses bring the flavor up a couple of notches. Both cheeses melt gorgeously, with each bringing a touch of sweetness and a bit of butteriness from the Havarti . Even if it’s just the four of us, I will always make a big lasagna, since there are few leftovers that every member of my family is more excited to see in the fridge.
And in fact once I’m making lasagna, I’ll often make two – either because I get so excited about it I want to have people over, or because I want to freeze one, or because it’s simply the perfect thing to drop off at someone’s house because you love them or they need a food hug.
For this dish you’ll want to use the plain versions of the two cheeses from Roth, but for future dishes (or fabulous snacking and cheeses plates) explore other versions, like the Sriracha Gouda (think tacos and nachos) and the Dill Havarti (think smoked salmon and capers).
If you haven’t discovered the no-boil lasagna noodles in the pasta aisle of the supermarket you may fall in love with this gift of a convenience product. I certainly did.
If you can make the lasagna a day ahead, it will get even more depth of flavor, like most soups and stews. It reheats very nicely. If I am planning to serve it 1 to 3 days before making it I will bake it for about 40 minutes instead of the full hour (keeping the foil on the lasagna), take it out and cool it, then wrap it and put it in the fridge, covered tightly in foil. The next day it can be reheated, uncovered, in a 350°F for about 25 minutes. You can also make it and keep it in the fridge, uncooked, and cook it entirely the next day. Bring to room temperature before cooking, or just add on a few more minutes if you bake it right from the refrigerator.
In short, there are lots of make-ahead opportunities with a lasagna, especially a sturdy and satisfying one like this. I served it up with Pinot Noir, which was a perfect match.
Classic Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
- 3 large eggs
- 1 32-ounce container ricotta
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 recipe Turkey Sausage Sauce recipe follows
- 12 no-cook lasagna noodles see Note
- 1 ½ cups shredded Roth Gouda about 5 ounces
- 1 ½ cups shredded Roth Havarti about 5 ounces
For the Turkey Sausage Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- ½ pound fresh hot turkey sausage
- ½ pound fresh sweet turkey sausage
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large stockpot, heat half the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add both the turkey sausages together and cook, stirring frequently, and breaking up the meat so that it’s very crumbly and browned throughout, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn it into a strainer and let it the fat drain off.
- Add the remaining oil to the same pot, without cleaning it, over medium heat. Add the onion and shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and basil and cook, stirring, until you can smell the garlic and herbs, about 2 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes and red pepper flakes if using, and stir to combine everything. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked sausage, lower the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Taste, and season with the salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the ricotta, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper, and stir to blend. Stir together the gouda and havarti in a bowl.
- Ladle a little of the sauce onto the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan. Spread all 12 of the lasagna noodles with even amount of the ricotta mixture, laying them out on a counter. Place 4 ricotta-covered noodles into the pan, covering the bottom. Spoon over about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce, covering the ricotta mixture entirely. Evenly sprinkle over 1/3 of the shredded cheese mixture. Repeat until you have three layers.
- Cover the lasagna with tin foil (hint: spray one side with nonstick cooking spray and place that side down on top of the lasagna – when you remove it, the cheese won’t stick to the foil). Bake for 1 hour, removing the foil halfway through the cooking time so that the top gets bubbly and browned. You may wish to put a baking sheet (with sides) on the rack below the lasagna pan, to catch drips.
- Let the lasagna sit for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting it, so that the pieces hold together better.
NoteAn 8-ounce package of lasagna noodles will usually contain between 12 and 14 pieces of rectangular lasagna noodles. You might have a couple of extra, to save for the next time. If you make 2 of these, for a big gathering, the 4 potential leftover noodles will make a bonus small lasagna in a loaf pan (because there is a generous amount of ricotta mixture and sauce, especially if you double the recipes, you could probably hold back a bit of each and get that fourth lasagna, no problem . Just grate up another 1/4 cup each of the cheeses and then you’ll have a loaf pan lasagna to tuck in the freezer for another day. This post has been sponsored by Roth cheese. All the opinions expressed are my very own.
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