Friday, August 13, 2010

Now and Later Lasagna

I've always loved my mom's lasagna, but no matter how hard I try, when I make it, it just isn't the same.  Last night, I think I finally came up with a lasagna recipe that I love, and I can easily make enough to freeze AND I made it without any eggs.  Being that our middle child is highly allergic to eggs, that's a big deal.  Here is the recipe, enjoy!
Italian Sausage Basil Lasagna

*eggless option
2 tablespoons olive oil (I use a homemade garlic infused olive oil that I keep by my stove)
1 ½ pounds spicy Italian sausages, casings removed (or sweet or mild Italian sausage - I used 2 sweet and 1 hot, and all 3 kids still loved it)
1 cup chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh oregano (dried is fine, too)
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (may omit if feeding to children)
1 28-ounce jar tomato & basil spaghetti sauce
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion (do not drain)
½ C red wine
5 oz. button mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
2 C grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 large egg (or *1 plain gelatin packet with 2 T warm water prepared just before adding to recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 no-boil lasagna noodles from one 8-ounce package
3 cups (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 12 ounces)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
Nonstick olive oil spray

Directions for Sauce:
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausages, onion, garlic, oregano (if dried) and crushed red pepper and sauté until sausage is cooked through, mashing sausage into small pieces with back of fork, about 10 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes with juices. Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium, add wine and mushrooms. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season with fresh oregano, salt, and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.)

Finely chop basil. Add ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg or *gelatin mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir until blended.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1 1/4 cups sauce in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish or 2 9x9 squares (one for now, and one to freeze.) Arrange 2-3 noodles on sauce. Drop 1 1/2 cups filling over noodles, then spread evenly to cover. Cover with sauce. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering of noodles, filling, sauce and cheeses 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles. Spoon remaining filling, then sauce atop noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Spray large piece of foil with nonstick olive oil spray. Cover lasagna with foil, sprayed side down.

Bake lasagna 40 minutes. Carefully uncover. Bake until noodles are tender, sauce bubbles thickly and edges of lasagna are golden and puffed, about 10 minutes. Transfer to work surface; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is a great, easy recipe! It is definitely the best lasagna I've ever had- and I made it myself! :) My six year old has a really hard time sitting down long enough to finish a meal. He prefers to come and go as he pleases when it comes to food. This time, he sat down and cleaned his plate- and licked his fork clean between each bite. Not quite the table etiquette I would normally encourage, but I was tickled to see him eating so much in one sitting!
    Now and Later Lasagna=Success!