Ben and I are huge fans of Italian food, so I am always happy to try a new pasta recipe. I have had one lasagna recipe for about five years that has been my old stand-by. It is a wonderful recipe, and I will never replace it…but that doesn’t mean I can’t try new kinds of lasagna. I found this while browsing recipes on Williams Sonoma and thought it sounded like something different that we would enjoy. I was right! This is a really delicious lasagna, and something a bit out of the ordinary. The only (kind of) bad thing is that it is HUGE! We will be eating this for days and days, but I’m not complaining.

The original recipe calls for Williams Sonoma Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce – riiight. I just looked through the pasta sauces at Kroger until I found one with roasted red peppers. I’m sure most stores have something close to this, or you could make your own. As usual, I used turkey sausage instead of regular sausage to cut down on fat and calories. This recipe has enough without the sausage. It doesn’t need any more! Finally, the original recipe says to use 1 lb. of lasagna noodles. I cooked the whole pound and then only ended up using 16 of them because I only use four noodles per layer in my lasagna.

Mushroom, Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb. mild turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 jars (each 26 oz.) roasted red pepper pasta sauce
16 lasagna noodles, cooked until just tender
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and crumbling with a fork, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a colander set over a bowl and let drain, then transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.

Add the mushrooms to the sauté pan, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage, add the parsley and stir to combine.

Spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.

To start the layering process, cover the sauce with one-fourth of the lasagna noodles in a single layer. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Spread 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta mixture. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the mozzarella. Sprinkle one-third of the sausage mixture over the sauce. Repeat the layering twice, finishing with a layer of sauce. Then top with a final layer of noodles and 1 cup of the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until the lasagna is golden and bubbling, about 30 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 12.