Turkey Sausage & Beef Lasagna

Happy Hump Day! I wanted to start off by saying - you're welcome! - because you're going to be thanking me for this recipe once you make it. I made a few changes, but for the most part, followed Ina's recipe (because you can never go wrong with Ina!). Yesterday was my husband's birthday, and since he was born on Cinco de Mayo, he generally celebrates with anything BUT Mexican food/drinks...not because we don't love Mexican, because we do, but we eat it all of the time! So, this year he requested lasagna. I haven't made homemade lasagna in years - if ever really - when talking about traditional lasagna. I searched for some time for what seemed like a great recipe, and I found it! This was delicious and is also great as leftovers. Feel free to swap out the meat combination, and you can also decide whether to use dry lasagna noodles, fresh noodles, or the oven-ready noodles. I found fresh pasta sheets in the refrigerator section of the store, which caused me to do 3 layers instead of Ina's 2 layers due to the shape of the sheets. The recipe below is for my version. The original can be found below. Enjoy!

Original Recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/turkey-lasagna-recipe2-1916662

Ingredients:

2 tb olive oil

1 cup yellow onion, chopped (1 onion)

2 garlic cloves, minced (I used the fresh pureed garlic found at the store)

3/4 pound turkey Italian sausage, casings removed if necessary (mild)

3/4 pound lean ground beef (I used 93/7)

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

6 oz tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (divided)

2 tb dried basil (or 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped)

2 tsp salt (divided)

3/4 tsp ground black pepper (divided)

1/2 pound lasagna noodles (I used fresh)

15 oz ricotta cheese (whole milk)

3-4 oz goat cheese, crumbled (Don't leave this out - it adds awesome flavor!)

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling

1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions:

Note: The original recipe called for 2 layers of pasta, however, my version has 3 layers of pasta - so you just divide the mixtures up evenly based on how many layers you choose to do.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the sausage and beef and cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes. I cranked mine up to Medium heat about 5 minutes in to finish browning the meat. Break up the meat as you're cooking and cook until it's no longer pink. Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tb of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 tsp of the salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

If using fresh pasta noodles, you can skip this step. If you need to cook the noodles before baking (dried noodles), fill a large bowl with very hot tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes and then drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, 1 cup of the parmesan, egg, remaining 2 tb parsley, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Now you're ready to build the lasagna. In a 9x13 dish, or lasagna dish, spray with non-stick cooking spray. Ladle enough sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. At this point, decide how many layers you're doing and split up the noodles, mozzarella, ricotta mixture, and sauce evenly. In my case, I did 3 layers of noodles -- so I put down 1/3 of the noodles, mozzarella, ricotta mixture, and sauce. Repeat this 2 more times and then top with any leftover ricotta mixture, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Be sure not to burn the cheese on top. Let sit to firm up for about 10 minutes and then serve.

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