Saturday, May 8, 2010
Smokin' Sausage Lasagna
Does anyone not like lasagna? I didn't think so. Even my 5 year old (who, btw, got her first loose tooth yesterday!) likes it even though she is firmly against casseroles or other "mixed up" food.
Normally, I use beef or turkey in my recipe but this time we tried sausage - to great applause! I also generally use no fuss, no muss, no pre-boiling required noodles...they make preparing dinner so much easier!
The great thing about lasagna is that pretty much anything goes - like garlic? Add more! Don't like wine? Substitute water! Like it hot and spicy? Add hot sauce!
My favorite ingredient in this recipe is the smoked Gouda - it melts so well and imparts a great but not too strong smoky flavour. Also, this recipe makes a smooth, creamy tasting lasagna - none of the flavours really stand out too much (that is there is no Horshack, "Ooh-ooh-ooooh! pick me Mr. Carter" going on - sorry to anyone not familiar with the Sweathogs) but everything melds together to produce a memorable and delicious comfort dish.
Mmm, pass the garlic bread!
1 cup wine wine
2 lbs mild italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 bottles Paul Newman's Marinara sauce
2 cups spinach
large handful of basil
9 oven ready lasagna noodles
2 cups ricotta
2 cups mozzarella. grated
1 cup smoked gouda, grated
1/3 cup parmesan
2 tsp thyme
chipotle hot sauce (optional)
Take sausage out of casings and saute with onions on medium heat til sausage is cooked through - about 15 minutes.
In blender or food processor, blend sauce, garlic, basil and spinach. If desired, blend some of the cooked sausage as well.
Pour sauce into large sauce pan and add wine. Stir till blended. Warm over medium- low heat.
In large bowl, mix together ricotta, 1/2 cup smoked gouda, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan, thyme, pepper and salt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place 1/3 of sauce in 9 x 13 pan.
Add 3 lasagna noodles.
Evenly spread 1/2 of cheese mixture over noodles.
Spread 1/3 of sauce over mixture.
Add 3 more noodles.
Spread other 1/2 of cheese mixture over noodles.
Add 3 more noodles.
Spread sausage evenly over noodles.
Pour last 1/3 of sauce over noodles.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and smoked gouda over sauce.
Bake in oven for approximately 50-60 minutes, until fork pierces pasta easily.
Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: If you don't like browned/broiled cheese (I love it), I would cover with non-stick aluminum foil during baking.