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Lasagna with Italian Sausage

Lasagna with Italian SausageServe this excellent version of a classic Italian comfort food with a simple green salad and warm crusty French bread.

Recipe Ingredients:

Meat Sauce:
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 large bay leaf
1 pound hot or mild Italian sausages, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated
6 to 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed Roma tomatoes with purée
1 cup water
2 teaspoons brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Lasagna:
9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cooking Directions:

  1. Prepare Meat Sauce First: In small bowl combine the basil leaves, oregano leaves and bay leaf; set aside.
  2. In a large cooking pot, cook the Italian sausage over medium heat; drain excess fat.
  3. Add the olive oil and reserved spice mixture and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add onion, carrot and garlic; cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
  6. To Assemble Lasagna: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Combine ricotta and 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Add egg, parsley, salt and pepper, mixing well.
  8. Spread about 1/2 cup sauce (or enough to cover in a thin layer) on the bottom of a lightly greased lasagna baking dish or a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place 3 cooked lasagna noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit, if necessary. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (do not spread) half of ricotta cheese mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle 1/3 of mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta cheese mixture. Ladle about 2 cups sauce over mozzarella cheese. Repeat same procedure with next layer beginning with 3 more noodles and ending with the sauce. Top with last three noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 of mozzarella cheese and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over lasagna.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes; uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly.
  10. Allow lasagna to stand for at least 15 minutes to set before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/12 of recipe): 347.1 calories; 42% calories from fat; 16.2g total fat; 70.9mg cholesterol; 921.3mg sodium; 301.8mg potassium; 24.1g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 2.6g sugar; 22.8g net carbs; 26.0g protein.

Recipe and photograph by Hope Pryor; Copyright © 1999; property of CooksRecipes.com. See Terms of Use.