Lasagna is a special occasion dish in our house. My best estimate is that I make it twice a year, at most. When I’m planning for a family gathering, such as Christmas, lasagna is one of my go-to meals. I love that I can (and should) make the dish the day before. It is a nice, filling dish that everyone can serve themselves in the serving size that he prefers. Add a salad and some bread, and dinner is done! For those pickier eaters in our family, I cook a pot of plain pasta. Voila!
What I especially love about making lasagna for big family gatherings is that I need to make two lasagnas. Yes, I did just state that I like having to make more food. Not only do I enjoy cooking, but when there’s a larger crowd, I can make different lasagnas. The preferred lasagna in our house is the meat version. With a gathering, I also make a veggie lasagna as a different option. Personally, I love to eat a small slice of each.
I tend to use a combination of sausage and pepperoni in my meat lasagna. Other combinations would work well; feel free to share your combinations in the comments.
- 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 lb. whole milk mozzarella, divided
- 32 oz. whole milk ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tb. dried basil
- 1 Tb. dried oregano
- 9 oz. package no-boil lasagna noodles
- Sliced pepperoni
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- Heat large frying pan over medium heat. Cook sausage completely, breaking into crumbles.
- Transfer sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and drain fully.
- Cut mozzarella in half. Wrap and refrigerate one half; dice other half.
- In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta, eggs, basil, oregano, and diced mozzarella.
- Coat a 13×9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara on bottom of pan. Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
- Spread half of ricotta mixture over noodles. Top with a layer of pepperoni slices.
- Top with 3 lasagna noodles, and coat them with a layer of marinara.
- Top the marinara with half of the sausage crumbles. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan.
- Repeat with one more layer of noodles/ricotta/pepperoni and one more layer of noodles/sauce/sausage/parmesan.
- Top with last 3 noodles and a layer of marinara. Cover with foil and refrigerate.
- After 24 hours preheat oven to 400.
- Bake lasagna for 45 minutes.
- Shred remaining mozzarella. Uncover lasagna, top with mozzarella, and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, rest for 10 minutes, serve.
- You can refrigerate the lasagna for less than 24 hours, but I would suggest allowing it to sit for at least 12 hours.