December 09, 2017
I like to use the “no boil” lasagna noodles, but I’ve found that you can even use the normal lasagna noodles and not pre-boil them before making this lasagna. There’s enough liquid and time and heat to cook the noodles through even if you start with them dry.
I like to use a mix of smoked and fresh unsalted mozzarella to give a nice depth of flavor. For the grated cheese I’ve used pecorino but any blend of grated cheeses will work.
- 16 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 1 pound pork sausage, casings removed
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 pound fresh unsalted mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 ounce basil, shredded
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 cup pecorino romano, grated
- Lasagna Baking Dish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice each mozzarella ball in half and set one half aside for slicing. Cut half of the smoked mozzarella and half of the unsalted mozzarella into small 1/2 inch chunks.
- Mix the mozzarella and ricotta with the shredded fresh basil and half of the grated pecorino cheese into a chunky mix and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Brown the sausage meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Add 2 cups of tomato sauce and boil for 5 minutes on low heat. Set this meat sauce aside.
- Take a large 9x12 lasagna pan and put a very thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
- Add a layer of dry pasta noodles.
- Add dabs of the cheese mixture intermittently across the layer of noodles.
- Add a thin layer of the meat sauce so the cheese is partially covered.
- Repeat with layers of noodles, cheese, and meat until you are out of noodles or the pan is full. I try to have four layers.
- After the last layer of noodles, top with thin slices of the reserved mozzarella cheese and the rest of the leftover tomato sauce. If you have any leftover basil you can scatter it on top for a little bit of color.
- Top with the reserved grated pecorino cheese and transfer the lasagna pan into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour- the mixture should be lightly bubbling but not overflowing at the end.
- After the noodles are fully cooked and the cheese is well melted, switch the oven to a high broil mode. Broil the top of the lasagna until the cheese starts to turn brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.