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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Makes 8 to 12 servings
- 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
How to make it