Recipe: Lasagna with Moose Bolognese

Recipe by CIRI Shareholder Nikki Graham (Yup’ik), director of operations and human resources for the Alaska Native Heritage Center

This recipe is inspired by the people of Tyonek, Alaska, and the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District’s Tyonek Grown program. For a step-by-step video demonstration, view the recipe portion of the 2022 Friendship Potlatch

Bolognese sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ pounds ground moose or beef
½ pound ground Italian sausage
2 cups dry red wine, such as cabernet or merlot, or use beef broth
2 28-ounce cans peeled tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
3 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red chili flakes, to taste

To assemble the lasagna:

2 cups ricotta and/or cottage cheese
1 egg
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
13 ounces no-boil/oven-ready lasagna sheets
17 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, for topping (optional)


  1. Brown ground moose meat/beef and Italian sausage. Drain fat if necessary and set meat aside.
  2. Sauté onion, carrot and celery over medium heat until soft. Season with salt and pepper and red chili flakes.
  3. Add garlic and tomato paste to the sautéed vegetables. Deglaze with red wine or beef broth and let simmer until liquid has reduced.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, browned meat and Italian sausage. Simmer, uncovered, for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. While meat sauce is cooking, in a bowl, mix ricotta, egg, salt and pepper, oregano and basil.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13- inch cooking dish.
  7. To assemble lasagna, spread a thin layer of Bolognese on the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange noodles over the sauce. Spread with half the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with fresh mozzarella slices. Spoon more meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Repeat layers, and top with remaining shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
  8. Cover lasagna with foil. To prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-35 minutes or until lasagna is done. Rest lasagna 15 minutes before serving.