Dinner tonight: lasagna with a twist

Most recipes call for pesto to be used as an uncooked sauce. Here, it livens up the lasagna as it bakes in the oven. A few sun-dried tomatoes also provide a jolt of flavour giving traditional lasagna a whole new spin.

Dinner tonight: lasagna with a twist

Lasagna genovese

Preparation time 20 minutes 

Cooking time 55 minutes 

Serves 8

  • 1 container (425 g/15 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 250 ml (1 c) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 500 g (1 lb) bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 150 g (1 c) chopped onion
  • 1 can (225 g/8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 250 ml (1 c) prepared pesto sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Coat a 23 x 35 centimetre (9 x 13 inch) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the ricotta, 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of the ­mozzarella, the sun-dried tomatoes, egg and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and breaking into smaller pieces, until no longer pink, two to three minutes.
  4. Add the onion and cook until the sausage begins to brown, four to five minutes. Pour off any fat, return the skillet to the stove and stir in the tomato sauce. Cook for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
  5. Spread 250 grams (one cup) of the sausage mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Top with three lasagna noodles. Spread one third of the ricotta mixture over the pasta then top with 100 grams (1/3 cup) of the pesto and 175 grams (3/4 cup) of the sausage mixture. Repeat with three noodles, another one-third of the ricotta mixture and pesto but not the sausage mixture. Arrange three noodles over the pesto layer and spread with the remain­ing one-third of the ricotta mixture, 100 grams (1/3 cup) pesto and the remaining sausage mixture. Top with the remaining three noodles and the remaining 125 grams (1/2 cup) mozzarella.
  6. Cover with foil that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes longer.
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

One more notch!

Do you prefer your lasagna on the spicy side?

  • Substitute hot Italian sausage for the sweet and try adding 0.5 grams (1/8 teaspoon) to one gram (1/4 teaspoon) crushed red-pepper flakes when you sauté the onions.


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