Spicy Sausage Lasagna with Pesto

Mario Batali
Servings: 9
1 to 2 hr

Fresh sheets of pasta are layered with spicy Italian sausage, Besciamella, and freshly grated Parmesan.

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Spicy Sausage Lasagna with Pesto
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh Pasta Sheets (thinly rolled)
  • 2 pounds spicy Italian Sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 large Bulb Onion (cut in half and sliced)
  • 3 Garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 2 batches Besciamella
  • 3 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • For the Basil Pesto:
  • 4 cups Basil leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1 cup Pine Nuts (lightly toasted)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
  • Blanch the pasta sheets, 3 to 4 at a time, in the seasoned water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and cool in the ice bath. Lay onto a sheet try with parchment in between the layers to prevent sticking. Repeat with remaining pasta.
  • In a large saute pan, add a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage and break up with a potato masher. Saute until dark brown, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Push the sausage to the side of the pan. Add the sliced onions to the pan with the remaining sausage drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes just to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the besciamella into two large bowls. Stir the sausage mixture into one bowl and some of the pesto into the other bowl. Adjust to seasoning to taste.
  • Begin to build the lasagna by greasing a 9x9 baking dish with olive oil. Spread a layer of pesto besciamella in the bottom of the pan. Top with a few blanched pasta sheets, shingling slightly. Top with a layer of sausage besciamella and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with the remaining pesto besciamella, cheese, pasta, and sausage besciamella. Finish the final layer with pesto besciamella and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 to 25 minutes before serving. Lasagna can be served warm or at room temperature, with pesto and freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.
  • For the Basil Pesto: Combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese in a food processor. While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil to form a thick pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Store in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil on top for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, or freeze for a few months.
  • Tips
    - You can use chives in place of Spring onions.
    - Store bought pesto is a great time saving tool in this recipe. 
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