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Easy Lasagne Recipe with Spicy Sausage

This easy lasagne recipe with warming calabrian chilli, sausage and fennel is rich and immensely satisfying. You don’t need to pre-cook the lasagne sheets or make a complicated béchamel sauce. It requires some prep, but once it’s in the oven, your work is done. Perfectly delicious, golden brown cheesy lasagne, with a little spicy kick. You know you want it… 

Chef Jess Bunn’s Homemade Lasagne with Pork Sausage, Calabrian Chilli and Toasted Fennel

This easy lasagne with spicy sausage makes for a generous and tasty main course and this grilled asparagus with tomato salad and tahini sauce makes an excellent side. And if you’re looking for more Italian inspiration, check out my Cacio e Pepe and my Pasta Alla Norma.

Easy Lasagne Recipe?

If you’re anything like the rest of us, the only time you have Lasagne is if you order it at your favourite Italian place, get it as a take-away or eat it at your mum’s.

Homemade Lasagne?

Forget about it.

While it always seems like a good idea at the time, it takes ages to make, and it’s fussy. By the time it’s ready to serve, you’ve lost interest in eating and just want to go to bed.

Until now.

Trust me, this easy lasagne recipe with spicy pork sausage and fennel requires a bit of effort, but once it’s in the oven, your job is done. You also don’t have to bother with pre-cooking the pasta sheets, and you don’t have to spend ages trying to make the perfect béchamel sauce, which frankly, between you and me, is a bit of a nuisance.

And like all my recipes, I’ve personally tweaked and tested this easy lasagne recipe so that if you follow the instructions, you’ll be able to replicate the results perfectly. And along with a seriously yummy, rich and immensely satisfying.

The Secret’s in the Sauce

The alchemy happens when you combine the ingredients and allow time to simmer, so the different nuances are revealed. And like all tomato based sauces, the longer you simmer it, the more pronounced the flavour. If you have the time, by all means, simmer the sauce over a low heat for up to 2 hours, topping with water and stirring intermittently so the sauce doesn’t over-reduce and burn.

If you don’t have the time, 20 minutes is still sufficient for a gorgeous flavour to develop. And those flavours include Calabrian chilli paste and toasted fennel seeds.

Warm & Welcoming – Italian Style

If you’ve never used Calabrian chilli paste, you’re in for a treat. Calabrian chilli paste is a versatile condiment that features in Italian cuisine and is used to add heat and flavour to a variety of dishes. It’s made from Calabrian chilli peppers, from the Calabrian region in Italy.  The peppers are dried and then crushed into a paste with olive oil, salt, and vinegar. This paste adds a deliciously smoky, salty, and slightly sweet flavour to my easy lasagne recipe. 

It’s not as hot as some other chilli pastes, but it still provides some warmth. 

Easy Lasagne with Pork Sausage and Turkey Thigh Mince

The Seeds of Success

Toasted fennel seeds pair beautifully with the rich flavour of the pork, and are the ingredient responsible for the distinctive taste of Italian sausage. Toasting the seeds releases the natural sweetness and liquorice flavour. When toasting, stir occasionally, until they are fragrant and slightly browned, usually around 2-3 minutes. 

Be careful not to overcook the seeds, or else they’ll become bitter.

Easy & Oh So Cheesy

The reason we’re able to get away with not making a béchamel sauce for this easy lasagne recipe, (Shh – don’t tell your nonna) is through including delicious cheesy layers by mixing ricotta, mozzarella, cream and a little nutmeg and parsley. This gets layered on top of the pasta sheets and is topped with the meaty sauce.

Then, it’s topped with a cheesy layer before being topped off with mozzarella and Parmesan shavings – it doesn’t get cheesier than that!

Going Undercover

A cardinal sin when it comes to baking lasagne is to do it uncovered. People make the mistake of assuming that because it’s so saucy, it will withstand the heat and won’t dry out.

Wrong.

Cover your lasagne with tinfoil for the first 30 minutes it’s in the oven. Then remove the foil while it bakes for another 30-40 minutes to achieve a delicious golden brown top and crispy edges.

And that’s it. Let your lasagne stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Told you it was easy!

Rate This Easy Lasagne Recipe with Spicy Sausage

Did you try out this easy lasagne recipe with spicy sausage and fennel? Please leave me a comment, give this recipe a rating, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

You can also check out the recipe video

Homemade Lasagne with Spicy Sausage and Fennel

Frequently Asked Questions

Must I use pork sausage?

Pork sausage mince works beautifully with the fennel seeds, but you can also use chicken sausage mince which also works really well with the turkey thigh meat!

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Be sure to carefully check the ingredients in your sausage. If the sausage is gluten free, the rest of the recipe is also gluten free.   

 

Easy Lasagne Recipe
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Chef Jess Bunn’s Homemade Lasagne with Pork Sausage, Calabrian Chilli and Toasted Fennel

Easy Lasagne Recipe with Spicy Sausage & Fennel


  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

This easy lasagne recipe with spicy sausage and fennel is rich and immensely satisfying. You don’t need to pre-cook the lasagne sheets or make a complicated béchamel sauce. It requires some prep, but once it’s in the oven, your work is done. Perfectly delicious golden brown cheesy lasagne. You know you want it…


Ingredients

Units

For the sauce

  • 500g sausage mince (high quality pork or chicken)
  • 200 g turkey thigh mince
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced, or 4 small shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 Tbsp Calabrian chilli paste (or 1 Tbsp chilli flakes)

For the pasta layer

  • 9 Lasagne sheets

For the cheesy layer

  • 500g Ricotta
  • 200g grated Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup or 125ml cream
  • Pinch Nutmeg
  • 10g or 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 50g Parmesan

For the Topping

  • Extra Parmesan
  • 2 balls Mozzarella (300g)

Instructions

  1. If you plan to simmer your sauce for an extended period, begin by preparing the sauce. However, if you prefer a quicker approach, then start by soaking the pasta sheets for 30-45 minutes before assembling your lasagne.
  2. Place the lasagne sheets next to one another on a tray, pour cold water over them, and set them aside until needed.
  3. Toast a generous ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds, on medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Remove the fennel seeds then drizzle oil into the saucepan.
  4. Remove the sausage meat from the casing and add to the pan along with the turkey mince. Cook the mince and crumble it into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Fry for 10-15 minutes on a high heat until all the mince is a rich golden brown.
  5. Once golden, add the toasted fennel seeds into the mince mixture, along with the onions. Cover, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring every so often until the onions are translucent (around 5 minutes). Once soft, grate in the garlic, stir it in and cook for a further minute.
  6. Tip the tomatoes into the mince mixture, rinse the tin by half filling it with water and add this to the mixture along with the Calabrian chilli paste.
  7. Simmer until the sauce reduces, (about 15-20 minutes) until it is thick and glossy*
  8. While the sauce simmers make the cheesy layers. Combine the grated mozzarella, ricotta, nutmeg, Parmesan, chopped parsley and the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Drain the pasta. Check the sauce. It should be thick, but spread easily when ladled into a dish. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Heat the oven to 200C.
  11. Drizzle a little oil into a high sided baking dish, suitably sized to feed 6 hungry people. Use a brush or your hands to lightly coat the inside of the dish with oil. This will stop the lasagne from sticking.
  12. Spoon in half of the spicy sausage sauce and top with 3 sheets of pasta.
  13. Dollop half of your cheese mixture over the lasagne sheets, then flatten with a spoon.
  14. Layer in 3 more sheets of pasta, then top with the remaining spicy sausage sauce.
  15. Finally finish with a layer of pasta, and top with the rest of the cheese mixture.
  16. Tear the mozzarella balls into chunks and scatter these across the top. Grate over a dusting of Parmesan.
  17. Cover the lasagne with tin foil and bake until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling, typically around 25-30 minutes. You will know the pasta sheets are cooked, when the lasagne is easily pierced with a knife.
  18. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 30-40 minutes until the lasagne achieves a deep golden brown colour on top, along with crispy edges.
  19. Allow the lasagne to rest for 10 minutes out of the oven, then slice into 6 portions and serve

Enjoy!

Notes

This sauce, like all simmered stews only gets better with time. So if you have time to spare, turn the heat low, and simmer away for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Top up with water as you go to stop the sauce from over reducing and burning.

  • Prep Time: 50 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Category: Mains
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Nutrition

  • Calories: 856.86kcal
  • Sugar: 6.77g
  • Sodium: 946.76mg
  • Fat: 38.11g
  • Saturated Fat: 26.55g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.03g
  • Trans Fat: 0.53g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.12g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 57.63g
  • Cholesterol: 205.04mg

Keywords: easy lasagne recipe, spicy sausage lasagne

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