LASAGNA – a tale of hubris

Hi there,

I have been interested in cooking since I was a young child. One of the greatest benefits of growing up in Levittown, PA, was the many different ethnic groups that settled in our neighborhood. This was a time of stay at home Mom’s and I was welcomed in everyone’s kitchen to watch and learn what was being made that day.

In spite of the fact that I grew up in a household that thought Ragu was sauce, at the age of 19, I somehow got it into my head that I could make lasagna. Wait it gets better, not only did I think I knew the ins and outs of lasagna making but I entered the recipe in a contest held by the Trentonian. Low and behold I won the contest. To this day I have never been able to figure that one out, since Trenton was filled with Italian American citizens. I surely must have been the only submission.

Well, here is my updated recipe for lasagna which is based on Ina Garten’s recipe. So, as you can see, I still have a lot of hubris to change Ina’s recipe.

“Lasagna: the world’s most perfect food!”
‘Garfield’ (Jim Davis)


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • 8 oz. no cook lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  •  10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach
  •  1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for the top
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced


  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-duty skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until thickened and reduced.
  3. Defrost the box of spinach and drain VERY well.  The spinach should be almost dry.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, entire box of spinach,  1 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg, remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce into a 9X13-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Next layer half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
  7. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the noodles are tender

Special Note: Lasagna can be made with sweet sausage as well as pork sausage or a combination of both. You can double this recipe and freeze one pan for a future dinner. You should freeze the lasagna without cooking. Lasagna always taste better the next day. So, I usually make the lasagna the day before I want to cook and serve it.

See you soon, ❤️💕Bernadette

14 responses to “LASAGNA – a tale of hubris”

  1. My Italian American family members don’t know real Italian cooking, just Americanized versions of Italian food. It’s no surprise you won! I never knew my Sicilian father, but 30 or so years ago I went to Pennsylvania for a family reunion. All I’d ever known was one sister, and all of a sudden I had a dozen uncles, a dozen cousins, and people called nephews and nieces. I was so excited to have dinner at my uncle/aunts house, and she opened a jar of Ragu!!!!! Bubble burst.

  2. Is there anyone who doesn’t like lasagna?? Especially homemade! I loved your 19 years old confidence, you had a winning attitude! So smart to adapt from one of the best Ina…looks divine!

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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