This recipe serves 6-8 meat-eater people with good appetite.
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound raw Italian sausage without casing
1 cup minced carrots
1 quart spaghetti sauce
30 ounces ricotta cheese
6-10 turns of the mill freshly ground black pepper
6-9x13 square inch fresh rolled pasta
½ cup parmesan cheese
Additional olive oil to brush your 9x13 baking pan – something that should not take knife marks, I suggest, and more to drizzle on top.
Step 1: Get that pig on the stove and sneak in the vegetable
Do use a heavy-bottomed pan for this purpose: heat olive oil on medium high heat on the stove and brown the sausage meat using a wooden spoon to help break the sausage apart. Add carrots and stir. Pour in all the spaghetti sauce and stir. Let simmer until bubbly boiling – stirring often to prevent scorching and erupting (you wouldn’t want to try how it feels to have hot spaghetti sauce on the back of your hand unless you like being poked with a live cigarette…). Set aside.
Step 2: Make the ricotta sauce
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together with a spatula (or a spooning spatula, if you prefer; you are going to use the utensil to spread the mixture on the pasta sheets): ricotta cheese, eggs, and pepper. Stir until blended. The mixture should look all white. Set aside.
Step 3: A good start
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the pan with the additional olive oil – you really only need 1 tablespoon of it – even if your pan says non-stick (unless you find it fun to scrub and scour good lasagna sauces off of your dirty pan instead of moving on to the tiramisu and the chocolate-coated pizzeles and that authentic spumoni gelato…).