LASAGNA_DSC_1111_Cast Iron Lasagna

Cast Iron Fennel & Sausage Lasagna with Pinot Noir Tomato Sauce

This vintage of Griffin's Cuvée Pinot Noir has a subtle baking spice note on the finish, which perfectly complements the nutmeg in the homemade sausage.  The slight heat of the red pepper flakes enhances the heft of this wine. Additionally, the full body and grippy tannins stand up beautifully to this complex and savory dish, creating harmony in each bite. 

Recipe by: Elyssa Ternay, Wine Educator & Member Ambassador

Pinot Noir Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 small/medium fennel bulb, diced (approx. 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  28 oz can of crushed tomatoes 
  • 1  6 oz can of tomato paste 
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, minced (approx. 2 tbsp)   
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano  
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 oz 2018 Griffin's Cuvée Pinot Noir 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sausage Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground pork 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • Baking spice seasoning blend:
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend 
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Olive oil, to coat the pan

Lasagna Ingredients:

  • 1 package of lasagna noodles 
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated  
  • 15 oz Ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 8 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded  
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil – for garnish




  • Make Pinot Noir Tomato Sauce:
  • Heat olive oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat
  • Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the onions, garlic, and fennel, stirring constantly until browned
  • Once the onions, fennel, and garlic start to brown add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Griffin's Cuvée Pinot Noir, brown sugar to taste, fresh basil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 1 hour while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

  • Make Sausage:
  • Season the pork with Italian seasoning blend, minced garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of oil (just lightly coat the pan – don’t add too much oil as the pork will render its fat)
  • Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the pork and spices and cook until it is well-browned
  • Drain and set aside until you are ready to assemble the lasagna

  • Make Lasagna:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside. 
  • In large mixing bowl, combine Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, salt and pepper
  • Grease a 13-inch cast iron skillet with oil and then place a cup of sauce on the bottom of the skillet
  • Cover the sauce with about 4 sheets of lasagna noodles, ¼ cup of the Ricotta cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella and top with the sausage
  • Repeat until you have three layers 
  • Finish with a layer of sauce and shredded Mozzarella
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes
  • Remove foil, bake uncovered for another 20 minutes
  • Once cheese starts to bubble, broil for additional 2 minutes to brown top, if desired
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving
  • Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

Serve and enjoy with Dobbes Family Estate’s 2018 Griffin's Cuvée Pinot Noir!

Available Soon: 2018 Griffin’s Cuvée Pinot Noir