How to Make Sausage-Fennel Lasagna Rolls With Béchamel Sauce

Rolled lasagna
Reprinted with permission from ‘Lasagna: A Baked Pasta Cookbook' by Anna Hezel and the Editors of Taste

Lasagna is the ultimate dish for a winter gathering, and it’s easy to see why. “There’s something so generous and plentiful about it—there’s always enough for everyone, and there’s always enough for second helpings,” says Anna Hezel, author of Lasagna: A Baked Pasta Cookbook.

On the other hand, showing up with the casserole is also something of a cliché. To avoid that at your next holiday potluck, we suggest Hezel’s sausage-fennel lasagna rolls. Filled with browned crumbles of spiced pork and welded together with fontina and Parmesan cheeses and béchamel sauce, this recipe is anything but boring. The end result is bubbly and blistered, since more of the noodles get crisped up in the oven.

Here’s how to wow the crowd by turning the classic comfort food dish, literally, on its side.

Reprinted with permission from ‘Lasagna: A Baked Pasta Cookbook’ by Anna Hezel and the Editors of TASTE, Copyright © 2019. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Dylan James HO + Jeni Afuso © 2019


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  • For the béchamel:
  • 1⁄2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • For the lasagna rolls:
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet Italian fennel sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1⁄2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups shredded fontina cheese
  • 4 cups béchamel, warm
  • 15 dry lasagna noodles, cooked
For the béchamel: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add milk, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.
For the lasagna rolls: Heat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook, breaking into small pieces, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl and stir in lemon zest and rosemary.
Add fennel and onion to skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add to sausage along with half of the Parmesan and two-thirds of the fontina.
Spread 1⁄2 cup béchamel in the bottom of an 8- by 11-inch baking dish. On a separate surface, arrange noodles side by side, vertically. Brush with a thin layer of béchamel, then divide the sausage filling evenly among them. Starting at the bottom, tightly roll each noodle. Set side by side in dish and tuck in stray filling. Pour remaining béchamel all over and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Bake 45 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.