Something about fall weather always puts me in the mood for baked pasta - and especially for lasagna! My go-to recipe is an easy vegetarian lasagna based on my mom's recipe, but this year, I've been playing around with some different options. I made this roasted red pepper lasagna for my book club, and it was a big hit. (That was a good thing, because our book was a bit of a dud!)
You get great pepper flavor in this dish from both the sauce (I used a jarred red pepper sauce) and lots of chopped roasted peppers. Of course you can make this lasagna more 'homemade' but making your own sauce and your own roasted peppers, but it was really delicious even using the jarred varieties of both. The roasted red peppers are complemented by four types of cheese: creamy ricotta, tangy goat cheese, gooey fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. I also added Italian turkey sausage to the lasagna simply because my book club is more of a meat-eating bunch, but I didn't think it was essential - this would also be really delicious as a vegetarian main. Serve it alongside garlic bread for a fantastic Italian feast!
Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
1-1/2 jars pasta sauce (I used red pepper sauce from Classico)
12 lasagna noodles
10 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 pound turkey Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked through
1 jar roasted red peppers, chopped into bite-sized squares
Grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
16 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a 9x13 lasagna pan, spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Fit four noodles into the bottom of the pan (three will go lengthwise, and the fourth will go crosswise with a bit broken off the end). Spread each noodle with a thick layer of ricotta (use about half the ricotta). Scatter over half the turkey and half the Italian sausage, and then sprinkle on a good amount of Parmesan cheese. Drizzle over a thick layer of sauce, and then spread everything together with the back of a spoon.
2. Cover with another layer of noodles. Spread the remaining ricotta over the noodles. Sprinkle over the remaining sausage, red peppers, and all of the goat cheese. Drizzle with another layer of sauce and then even out the layer with the back of a spoon.
3. Cover with a final layer of noodles. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles, spreading with spoon to make sure all exposed noodles are covered. Distribute the fresh mozzarella as evenly as possible, and then sprinkle with Parmesan.
4. Spray a big piece of foil with oil, and then cover the lasagna. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes to let the cheese get browned. Remove from oven, recover with foil, and let rest 10-20 minutes before serving.