Mom de Cuisine

Manly, Meaty, Birthday Lasagna
September 25, 2011, 5:39 am
Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , , ,


I mentioned in my previous post that this weekend is my husband’s birthday.  I asked him weeks ago what he wanted me to make, and I shouldn’t have been surprised by his request: lasagna and a lemon cake with chocolate frosting.  Ordinarily, this is a simple request.  I should have known after the last three months in our host country that I wouldn’t be able to make a quick trip to the grocery store to get all the ingredients.  It took me 6 trips to 5 different stores to get everything I needed.  First, it started with the pork sausage.  In the States, getting pork sausage, of many varieties is no big deal.  In a country where most of its residents don’t eat pork…..let’s just say it was tricky.  I tried 3 different kinds, from three different stores and still wasn’t totally satisfied.  Oh, and then there was the cheese.  Two stores looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they carried ricotta.  When I did find it, the price was staggering, but what is money when it comes to love? 



However, once I finally got everything together, my little sous chefs and I had a nice morning putting together the lasagna. If nothing else, it was a labor of love. 

I did have grand plans for the cake.  My husband asks for a lemon cake with chocolate frosting every year, as it was what his mother made for him as a child.  I was going to make the best lemony layer cake with rich butter cream frosting.  But that darn lasagna took so much out of me, that I just didn’t have the energy.  As much as I love to cook and spend time in the kitchen, I didn’t want to spend the whole day devoted to this meal and neglecting the birthday boy.  So once I got the lasagna in the oven, I thought, I’ll just dress up a box cake mix.  Of course, that was easier said than done.  Three trips to two stores to find a simple lemon cake mix and chocolate frosting.  Needless to say, the cake fell way short of what I had envisioned, but my husband still enjoyed it and the effort that was put forth (I think!)




Manly, Meaty, Birthday Lasagna


1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed

4 cups tomato sauce (I used the same recipe from my chicken meatballs)

1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1/4 cup black olives

1 package oven ready lasagna noodles

14 oz. part skim ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded parmesan cheese, divided

1 tablespoon each basil, oregano, thyme

1 egg

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown and crumble the sausage over medium high heat.  Drain grease and stir in tomato sauce, mushrooms and olives. 

In a bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan, herbs, and egg.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the lasagna: place a small layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of lasagna pan.  Add an even layer of noodles.  Spread a thick layer of tomato and sausage.  Add another even layer of noodles.  Spread cheese mixture, then noodles.  Repeat until all the sauce and cheese are used.  Top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. 

Cover and bake 45 minutes, or until lasagna is set.  Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese on top is browned and slightly crispy.

Remove the lasagna from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before serving.


13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

aw yum… lasanga would be now.. its sooo cold >.<

Comment by Dolly

It looks so good..perfect Sunday lunch meal!

Comment by Girl Cook Art

Your kids are too cute. This lasagna is gorgeous! I love that you added olives to it. I have never done that. Wow, you sure went to a lot of trouble to make your hubby’s b-day special. I take for granted how easy shopping is here in the States (one stop). I felt so bad hearing how you had to go all over town just to get this dinner on the table. Well, you’re a great wife for doing it and I hope your hubby had a wonderful b-day!!

Comment by Ramona

Thanks so much, Ramona. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but I’m also enjoying discovering new foods and ingredients!

Comment by alyssa

This is a very interesting version of the Italian lasagna! good!

Comment by twinky (@TheTwinkyCake)

Yum! It seems like I only make vegetarian lasagna but this makes me hungry for the real thing. It sounds delicious with sausage!

Comment by Bake Your Day

Man, it’s hard being a vegetarian when I see stuff like this! Looks delicious!

Comment by thesmartcookiecook

Happy birthday to your husband! I guess I take for granted that I’ve got three grocery stores that will carry whatever I need with a few miles of me. Labor of love to say the least! I’m sure that your husband enjoyed it all. There is a chance we could be stationed in Germany within the year and I’ve wondered what obstacles I might face cooking in a foreign country.

Comment by Shay

If you can, I would recommend going! It’s a great adventure. I always thought, you go, give it a try, and if you hate it, it’s only a few years anyway. Also, you will always be able to say that you had the experience!

Comment by alyssa

Aw, Happy Birthday to Hubby! I would be wiped if I had to go to that many stores too!! The lasagna looks perfect though and I bet the cake was still tasty too!!

Comment by Stephanie

Happy birthday to your hubby! The lasagna looks so tasty and not runny at all. I am sorry about all the trouble with the cake, but I am sure your husband enjoyed everything. thanks for sharing.

Comment by Tina@flourtrader

Happy Belated to your husband! It looks like you all had a wonderful family time. =) Despite the cake was not fully from scratch, your love was in it..totally! Your Lasagna looks so delicious! One day I have to make it on my own…

Comment by Nami | Just One Cookbook

[…] the New Black, I knew I had to try it!  I did want to make it for my husband as well, after all, lasagna is one of his favorite meals, but when I mentioned it to him, I think his exact words were, […]

Pingback by Make-Ahead Monday: Lasagna Stew « Mom de Cuisine

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