Double Cheese Sausage and Caramelized Onion Lasagne with Roasted Red Pepper Bechamel Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
 
This lasagna may be a little labor intensive, so it's probably more suited for a holiday or special occasion, or when you've got some extra time on your hands, like on a weekend. However, you can prepare ALL of the ingredients in advance, so it can be a special weeknight meal anytime! That said, trust me, it's more than worth it! It's rich, it's decadent, it's worth every minute you spend preparing it!
If making the lasagne noodles from scratch, the prep time will be longer than listed above.
ingredients:
Spinach Lasagna Noodles
  • Approximately 15 lasagna sheets (recipe above, or your own homemade or store-bought lasagna sheets)
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Roasted Red Pepper Bechamel Sauce *
  • 1 stick (4 ounces/120g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (4 ounces/120g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour
  • 5⅓ cups (approx 1140ml) milk
  • 4 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Cheese, Sausage and Onion Filling
  • ½ cup clarified butter ** or olive oil or a mix of both ¼ cup each **
  • 5 lb. yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. hot and/or sweet Italian sausage, cooked and sliced VERY thin or chopped or crumbled***
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 2 cups shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or any hard Italian grating cheese you like)
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
directions:
Cook the Spinach Lasagne Noodles
  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and lasagne noodles and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 2 minutes, or if using packaged lasagna - according to the instructions. Drain well, rinse in cool water and drain again. Immediately toss noodles lightly with the olive oil.
Make the Roasted Red Pepper Bechamel Sauce
  1. Using a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Sift in the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk (without stopping) for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time, making sure to keep the mixture smooth. Bring to a slow simmer, and whisk 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce starts to coat the back of a spoon. Continue to cook, whisking for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens (Take care not to let it burn on the bottom of the pot.) Stir in diced roasted peppers, Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. (size of pinch suited to your taste. I use ⅛ teaspoon.)
Make the Caramelized Onions ****
  1. In a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, warm the clarified butter. and/or oil. Add the onions, then cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely limp, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and sweet, 35 to 45 minutes. IMPORTANT- Take care not to let them burn, frequently stirring and scraping up any bits that start to form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, cool and use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Assemble the Lasagne
  1. Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Coat the inside of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with oil.
  2. Spread ¼ cup of the béchamel sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with 3 lasagna noodles, touching but not overlapping. Spread another layer of the roasted pepper bechamel sauce over the noodles, then top that with some of the caramelized onions, then some of the sausage, then some of the mozzarella cheese and Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese. Top all of the fillings with just a drizzle of the roasted red pepper bechamel, and cover all of the above with three more noodles. Repeat all of the above, making 4 more layers of the roasted pepper bechamel, caramelized onions, sausage, mozzarella cheese, Parmigianno-Reggiano, roasted red pepper bechamel drizzle, and noodles, ending with noodles. Top the final layer of lasagna noodles with the remaining bechamel sauce and cheeses. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes (knife inserted into center of lasagna should be hot). Remove the foil and bake until the top is just beginning to lightly brown, about 10 minutes more.
  3. To serve, let lasagna cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then divide among warmed individual plates. Garnish each serving with chopped parsley.
notes:
* Roasted Pepper Bechamel can be made 1 day ahead. Keep covered and chilled in fridge Rewarm just enough to loosen before layering into lasagna.

*** You can use regular, unsalted butter if you prefer. I just think tghey taste so much better when cooked down with clarified butter.

*** Since cooking whole sausage and slicing it super thin can take a little time, you can remove the sausage from the casing and fry it up for crumbled sausage. OR, just buy 1 lb of sausage meat without the casings! Also, remember to remove as much grease from the sausage, after cooking, as possible.With crumbles and chopped sausage, just dump it into a strainer lover a bowl, With whole, cooked sausage sliced thin, then blot the sausage slices with paper towels.

**** Carmelized onions will hold in the fridge, i a covered container, for about a week. They can also be frozen, sealed and covered tightly in a freezer bag, for about 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature when ready to use.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at https://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/03/27/lasagnalasagne-i-did-it-myyy-wayyy/