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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just when you thought you had read every Lasagna recipe!

My best friend probably makes the best lasagna I have ever tasted, bar none!  She makes home made pasta, and it must be about 20 layers thick with yummy cheese and sauce.  I, unfortunately, have only made pasta once, and I was heavily supervised making it!  I am so anxious to make it again, because it really makes a huge difference in flavor!  But, when you only have about 45 minutes to put this together, the home made pasta will have to wait for another time!  I love to use the no-cook lasagna noodles, but I find I need to add a little extra sauce in each layer because the pasta absorbs some of the liquid when it cooks.   So, let's start with the filling:

Ricotta Cheese
a couple of handfuls of Parmesan Cheese
Sprinkle in some garlic powder and onion powder (maybe a half teaspoon of each)
Salt and Pepper
Parsley (fresh or dried)
Fresh spinach cut up (probably a whole small bag)
a bunch of fresh basil, cut up


Set that aside and cook up a package of Italian sweet or hot sausage, removed from their casings and crumbled.

The last step is to prepare the sauce you will use to tie the whole dish together.  I didn't have enough left over bolognese sauce, so I used that in combination with a nice jar of Barilla Napoletana sauce (use your favorite!)  


I begin by putting some sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Then I spread some of the ricotta mixture on the uncooked pasta...usually three across fit in the pan.  Then I spread some of the sausage, a good amount sauce, and cheese (I use some mozzarella and Parmesan cheese).  Then repeat however many layers you want.  In this case, 3 layers was more than enough! 

Most people just pour sauce all over the top, and then add grated cheese.  Me?  On the top layer, I add some of the sausage, sauce, ricotta mixture, and shaved Parmesan.


All that is left is to cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour.  One trick I will share with you to keep the foil from sticking, is to spray it with some Pam.  When it comes time to remove it, you'll see nothing sticks....not even the cheese!

Let it bake for about 10 minutes uncovered, and you are done.  This whole dinner probably took about 1 1/2 hours from start to finish.  Not too bad!

When I serve this, I always add a spoonful of sauce over each piece.  

I hope you will add this to your collection of recipes and try it some time...

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