Lasagna Rosa

by Colette Wimmer
(Draper, Utah)

My big, food-loving Italian family always has an Italian entree with our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. This year all of the guys wanted lasagna, but I wanted to give it a twist. I thought that the best way to do that was to tweak the sauce.

I played around with different sauces and decided that a Rosa sauce would compliment the flavors of the other Thanksgiving offerings, boy was I right! Everyone flipped for this version of our traditional lasagna.

This makes a very large lasagna in a deep 13x9 pan.



  • 1/3 pound each of lean ground beef, spicy Italian sausage and sweet Italian sausage (bulk or casings removed)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 2 jars of a basic marinara sauce (Barilla tomato and basil works well)

  • 2 large can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • Salt and Montreal Steak Seasoning (to taste)

  • 16 oz. cream cheese


  • Brown all of the meats, medium heat, in a dutch oven with the chopped onions and minced garlic.
  • Once meat has been browned, add wine and simmer for about a minute.
  • Add the marinara sauce, diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
  • Taste the sauce and add salt and my secret ingredient - Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste.
  • Add the cream cheese and stir to incorporate into the sauce.
  • Add more salt and Montreal Steak Seasoning if needed.
  • Allow sauce to simmer while you prepare other elements below.

    Mushrooms and Spinach

    In a large skillet, medium heat, add 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter.
  • When butter is melted, add 3 cups of sliced baby portabello mushrooms.
  • Season with seasoning salt and my secret ingredient to taste.
  • Stir the mushrooms occasionally to ensure even cooking. Once the mushrooms have sauteed for two to three minutes, add 3 cups of prepared baby spinach leaves.
  • Cover the pan to allow the spinach to wilt, stirring occasionally. Taste the spinach and season if needed.

  • Using a large ladle, cover the bottom of the lasagna pan with Rosa sauce. Layer oven ready or al dente lasagna noodles to cover the pan.
  • Ladle more Rosa Sauce to cover noodles.
  • Drop liberal amounts by spoonful, 1/3 of the spinach and mushrooms, then cottage cheese or ricotta cheese based on your family's preference, so that the lasagna is evenly covered.
  • Generously cover the lasagna with shredded mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over the lasagna.
  • Repeat this same process for two more layers. On the last layer, omit the spinach, mushrooms, and cottage or ricotta cheeses... pile on the mozzarella though!

  • Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Cheese should be melted, a bit browned and the sauce should be bubbling.
  • Allow the lasagna to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow lasagna to set up.

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