Recipes: This Little Piglet’s Lia’s Mom’s Arugula Pesto & Sausage Lasagna

This Little Piglet‘s Lia was kind enough to share this recipe with us, even though it originally appeared here on TLP.

TLP‘s Lia: This is my mother’s award-winning lasagna, which was originally mixed together when my mother had a lot of leftover, homemade, arugula pesto. It ended up winning Polly-O’s “New York Searches for the Perfect Lasagna” contest. Ever since, all my friends beg her to make it for us all whenever they know she is attending one of my parties. Enjoy this (award-winning) food memory! 😉 

TLP’s Lia’s Mom’s Arugula Pesto and Sausage Lasagna

Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 50 minutes, plus standing


  • ½ lb each, sweet Italian and hot Italian sausage, casing removed, crumbled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, divided
  • 2 cans (28 oz. each) Italian-style crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 ½ cups grated Romano cheese, divided
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups arugula leaves
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 container (15 oz.) whole milk or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb lasagna noodles (18), cooked, drained (we used no-cook noodles which worked just fine)
  • 1 lb whole milk or part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded


  1. Brown sausage in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add onion and 3 of the garlic gloves, minced; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, wine, ¼ cup of the parsley, red pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Simmer on medium heat 15 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of the romano cheese.
  2. Place remaining 3 cloves garlic and pine nuts in food processor container fitted with steel blade; cover. Process until finely chopped. Add arugula and basil; process until smooth. Slowly add in oil in thin stream until blended. Add lemon juice and ¾ cup of the romano cheese. Set aside.
  3. Mix ricotta cheese, eggs, remaining ½ cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in arugula mixture; mix well.
  4. Spread ¾ cup of the tomato sauce on bottom of 2 greased 13×9-inch baking dishes. Top each with 3 lasagna noodles, 2/3 cup of the ricotta mixture, 1 cup of the tomato sauce and 2/3 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers 2 times. Top with remaining romano cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Makes 2 13×9-inch lasagnas with 8 to 10 servings each.

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