Sausage and Ricotta Lasagna and a Food Blogging Dinner

by heidi on January 31, 2013

Lately I’ve been a whirling dervish in my choices of what I’m craving to eat. Cravings all over the place, and most of them leaning toward the ethnic side of food. Thai one night, Korean the next, Middle Eastern and as always one of my faves: rich sausag-ey Italian pasta. Lasagna, that’s what I need. 

Sausage and Ricotta Lasagna || FoodieCrush

I’ll chalk it up to the fact that ever since I came home from Mexico I can’t quite get the flavors of other countries out of my system. I think its a sign that I just want to travel. It’s true! The night we got home I was on the internet stalking new travel adventures for me, my Smudge and my man, new places to create new memories.

This past week definitely resulted in a trove of memories I’ll be happy to reflect back upon. Converting online relationships to real life with talented foodie bloggers who traveled to Salt Lake City to attend Alt Summit was the highlight.

Showing off the best of SLC to Melissa, Kathryne, Erin, Jeanine and Kelsey with my local SLC blogging buddies Maria and Becky included dining at our favorite tapas restaurant—the only place I’ll eat Brussels Sprouts—plus a quick lunch date in Sundancing Park City to meet up with Kelley. It also gave us plenty of quality time to swap stories not just about our blogging biz tips and tricks and all the minutia food blogging entails, but about real life beyond the blog, even divulging and discovering a few secrets along the way. Change is in the air my friends!

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Typical blog chatter and Instagraming ~ photo by Erin

Life in front of our screens and keyboards made our original connection, and luckily led to what I hope are continuing real life relationships. It’s not so far fetched these days to say you met online and it seems like blogging is kind of like an online dating site, but you get to know a whole lot more about the blogger than from just one personal profile. At least that’s what I’ll surmise since I was married before the dating site surge, but I liken it still.

Probably the best part of the weekend was a somewhat impromptu dinner party at my house, introducing local Utah food bloggers Annalise, Deb, Krista, and Dara to our out of town guests. And I said I’d be serving dinner. To a bunch of food bloggers.

Kathryne knows what it takes for a fun dinner: big smiles and plenty of vino

Kathryne knows what it takes for a fun dinner: big smiles and plenty of vino ~ photo by Erin

Now, you might be thinking, “Heidi! What the hell are you doing? Whoa lady, you’re feeling pretty bold, eh? You think you’re going to make dinner for a bunch of food bloggers? FOOD BLOGGERS? These ladies do this for a living! It’s their passion!” Not to mention the combination of vegetarians, lactose intolerant and meat lovers ready to fork up to the table. But I had my secret weapon recipe of Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushroom Lasagna in my back pocket and the local foodies contributed a few of their specialties as well.

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Melissa dishes it up: both her charm and her food ~ photo by Erin

This was a forgiving group and all hands were on deck. As my mom says, “Many hands make light work.” I mean, what else were we going to do but eat, drink and be merry? Plus I had seen Sandy do it with ease and grace so I knew it could be done. Erin did a grand job capturing the night in her photos, and shared the links of all the tasty vittles on the menu.  Plus you’d hate to miss out on seeing how my photo-bombing dogs mysteriously appeared in nearly every shot. Oh right, there was food around. They’re dogs. That explains it.

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So basically it all comes back around to lasagna. Whether it’s butternut squash or this cheesey, sausage Italian, lasagna is just good basic food for the soul. Yep, food for the soul, just like the relationships we choose to care for and cultivate.

Sausage and Ricotta Lasagna and a Food Blogging Dinner

Serving Size: serves 10-12

Sausage and Ricotta Lasagna and a Food Blogging Dinner

Ingredients

¾ pound sweet Italian pork sausage
½ pound ground beef
3 cloves pressed garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup white wine
⅓ cup whole milk
1 28-ounce can diced organic tomatoes
1 15-ounce can organic tomato sauce
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 egg
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook pork sausage and ground beef over medium high heat just until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add onion with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Add wine and cook for 3 minutes or until nearly evaporated, then add milk and cook until absorbed. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano and kosher salt, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until sauce is reduced.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk egg and add ricotta cheese, parmesan and parsley and mix well.
  4. Spoon a generous portion of tomato sauce mixture on the bottom of an ungreased 9 X 13 baking dish or lasagna pan. Add a single layer of 4 lasagna noodles, spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, then ⅓ of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Repeat with 4 more noodles, remaining cheese mixture, ⅓ sauce mixture and 1 cup cheese. Top with 4 more noodles, the remaining sauce and top with cheese.
  5. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting. Add extra parmesan for serving.

If you like a thicker lasagna, bake the day before, refrigerate and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for a half an hour.

No boil noodles need more sauce than cooked noodles since they absorb the moisture from the sauce. Don't be shy when ladling your portions.

Add in spinach, kale, or zucchini for an extra veggie vitamin punch and a touch of green.

If time is an issue, substitute the homemade sauce for a great quality jarred sauce added to the meat mixture. If ricotta is hard to find, my mom always uses creamy cottage cheese instead.

http://www.foodiecrush.com/2013/01/sausage-and-ricotta-lasagna-and-a-food-blogging-dinner/

Last year when I posted my Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushroom Lasagna recipe I also highlighted some terrific lasagnas from around the web. Like I said, I can’t get enough of it, and since I’m a betting woman, I bet you want more too. So here you go, lasagna all around.

Lasagna-Bread-Pizza-recipe-taste-and-tell

Deb does it again. Delivering another unique twist on a traditional dish with Taste and Tell’s spin on Rachel Ray’s Lasagna Bread Pizza. Sorry, folks a pile of napkins is not included, but neccessary.

Florida-Coastal-Living

It’s no matter whether you’re vegan, gluten-free or just plain want to eat a lasagna on the healthier side, Dawn guarantees she’s going to blow your mind with Florida Coastal Cooking’s Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna.

BevCooks

Like so many kitchen creations, Bev created a cooking miracle thanks to a shopping mishap in Bev Cooks Sausage and Mushroom Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups. She says she’s a changed woman. I hope she doesn’t change tooooo much ‘cause I like the old Bev just right.

veggie-lasagna_141

Sometimes a delicious dinner all comes down to cleaning out the fridge. Bree suggests we use whatever combo of veggies we like in Baked Bree’s Veggie Lasagna, perfectly prepped a day ahead and easy to fit in the freezer for a killer weeknight eat.

ItalianDish

We can’t talk Italian and not go to an expert. Enter Elaine, who ditches the meat and the tomato sauce to concentrate on the fresh flavors of basil and cheese to in The Italian Dish’s Pesto Lasagna.

Cheesy-Chicken-and-Artichoke-Lasagna-12

Thanks for reading and please keep in touch. This post includes affiliate shopping links of which I receive a small percentage of sales to help keep this blog and magazine going so thanks for your support. Subscribe to FoodieCrush and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and check out FoodieCrush magazine.

Sonia takes the classic combo of artichokes and chicken to create a lush layered feast with an added twist of crunchy chestnuts (I don’t think I’ve ever even cooked with chestnuts—changing that toot sweet!) in The Healthy FoodiesCheesy Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

35 comments |

Posted in: entrees,meat and seafood,noodles, rice and grains,recipes

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn January 31, 2013 at 2:35 am

Lasagna is pretty much my favourite food ever in whatever form. Definitely trying this sausage & ricotta version!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks January 31, 2013 at 3:30 am

Thanks for sharing all the pics from the event! Looks like a who’s who of ladies I’d all love to have dinner with!

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shelly (cookies and cups) January 31, 2013 at 7:26 am

How fun! Looks like you guys had a great time.
Love this lasagna!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm

It was great, besides the lasagna, to be surrounded by such talented ladies. Hope to one day do the same with you in person. Thx Shelly!

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Laurie {Simply Scratch} January 31, 2013 at 7:30 am

Oh gosh how totally fun! And I love lasagna… it’s my weakness!

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Jeanine January 31, 2013 at 7:38 am

You are the best host… (and so accommodating to the lactose intolerance – sorry!). This will be a tough act to follow for BlogHer Food, that’s for sure.

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Ahhh, thanks sweets and so glad you were a part if the slumber party. Can’t wait for Austin!

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kelley January 31, 2013 at 7:40 am

It as great to see you ladies last week. Looks like dinner was a success!

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Bev @ Bev Cooks January 31, 2013 at 8:20 am

AAAHHH! What I would have donated to have been at that party. Ugh! Thanks for the linky!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm

We needed you here to dance on te tables. Assuming you do that of course ;)

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Deborah January 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

It was such a fun night! Oh, how I love my food blogging friends! And I ate every bite of that lasagna that you sent home with me myself. I’m selfish like that. :)

This lasagna looks equally delish. And thanks for featuring my lasagna bread pizza!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Ha! You didn’t even share? Naughty mommy! XO

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom January 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

Love this post! And hello?! Your house/kitchen is beautiful. . (love all the photos from Naturally Ella’s post) love it! All the food looks great and what a wonderful time you guys had! :) thanks for all the great lasagna recipes!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Thanks for the comment Alice. Erin is really a talent, I could follow her around all day.

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Lisa January 31, 2013 at 8:53 am

Absolutely gorgeous! (not just the dinner, the kitchen too!) I just posted some bite size lasagna last night with spinach and ricotta and regret not adding the sausage after seeing the above. Looks like a beautiful evening and some great new lasagna variations to try!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Oh Lisa, yours sound delicious! Bite-size! More to eat!

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 31, 2013 at 9:31 am

Both of your lasagna recipes look fab!

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Annalise January 31, 2013 at 10:47 am

You sure can’t go wrong with lasagna, and your butternut squash and mushroom lasagna was the bomb! Seriously, can I order up another few servings? Thanks for hosting dinner, it was such a fun night!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 11:01 am

I’m so glad you liked it, It is absolutely one of my staples in the kitchen arsenal of recipes. So glad that you could come and join us and bring your delicious lemon cake I am totally making it soon.

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Kristen January 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I may have to cry!

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Oh Kristen! You were the nugget the started the whole thing! Wish you would have come! But, we’re going to do something this year for sure, I can feel it in the air. I need all of your knowledge to soak into me.

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Emily January 31, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Crap. Now I need lasagna. Like right now.

Also, when I grow up I’m going to have a kitchen like yours.

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Luckily you’re still a spring chicken so there’s plenty of time.

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Kalyn January 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Your lasagna looks amazing. I’m sad I missed it, but hopefully I will be up for socializing again soon (three more weeks!)

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heidi January 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

You were certainly missed Kalyn! But glad that you are on the mend.

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking January 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Lasgna definitely speaks to the soul! It is such a versatile dish. I love the sausage in this. I want to use spicy sausage for that extra pow! Still jealous of that dinner!

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Joyti January 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm

That looks very comforting, hearty delicious… and thanks for the extra links (especially for the veggie lasagnas…and I’m going to check out your recipe for the squash and shittake lasagna…because I’ve got some squash and farmer fresh shittakes in my ‘fridge right now).

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Arianna February 2, 2013 at 10:55 am

I am completely in love with your dog! What breed is that?

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Azania February 4, 2013 at 5:51 am

I love lasagnas whether with veggies or meat it makes me have them even if I ‘m on a diet.Lasagna in the pics look like they made an awesome and delightful dinner for you’ll.cheeserecipe

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Liz @ The Lemon Bowl February 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I want to eat my entire screen!!! Love seeing these photos ladies!

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heidi February 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

They were pretty fun to hang out with!

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Liren February 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Heidi, just wanted to tell you how good it was to meet you finally! Thank you for such a warm welcome into SLC, and how I wish I could have stayed an extra day to have joined you all for dinner. Clearly, I missed a fabulous (and delicious) time.

My daughter just asked me to make lasagna again. Yours looks like one she will surely enjoy.

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