How to replicate this sausage lasagna?

by Jeffrey
(Pennsylvania, USA)

Hi Matt,

While travelling in of all places, Romania... I had dinner at a small restaurant run out of the rural home of some Italian expats.

It was there that I had the best sausage lasagna of my life... made by the Italian mother.

The thing that was most remarkable about this rich lasagna was the cheese layers... they had the consistency of almost a rich cheese custard. The cheese layers were firm, thick (maybe 1/8" - 1/4" each), well defined, and maintained their shape in the cut portion, but melted in your mouth with a rich, creamy flavor when you ate. It seemed that it was definitely a mix of cheeses including ricotta and not just a big slab of a single cheese.

I have tried with limited success to replicate this lasagna by varying recipes, preparations, and proportions over the last 2 years and probably 25 lasagnas.

I am happy with the results I have achieved with the pasta and sauce, but the rich, well formed cheese layer remains elusive.

I have tried whole-milk mozzarella mixed with varying proportions of whole-milk ricotta. I have varied the amount of eggs used in the ricotta mix, and I have even tried a few pans with the addition of a little cottage cheese, and/or Philadelphia cream cheese. I have tried shredded vs. grated parmesan cheese added into the ricotta mix to try to give it some structure. I have tried from vigorous mixing to nearly no mixing of the cheeses... I have even tried grated vs. sliced mozzarella layered in with the ricotta mix. But still I have not quite achieved that rich, well-formed, creamy layer.

Do you have any thoughts about how this elusive "unicorn" lasagna might have been made?

Thank you!

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