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Homemade Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms and Italian Sausage
There are so many different variations of lasagna and so many different preparations to choose from. I actually like to do something a little bit different every time depending on what I have on hand. This time I wanted to change it up a bit and add in spinach and mushrooms since I had both of the ingredients conveniently available. I usually do the more traditional style of lasagna noodles where you actually cook them by boiling them before putting them in my lasagna layers but only cook them until they are a bit al dente. Remember that the noodles get cooked twice with this method and you don’t want to have them get mushy.
In this instance, I actually had two boxes in the panty of Trader Joe’s Italian no-boil oven-ready noodles. Since this was not the usual route I take when making lasagna, this was to be a slightly new adventure for me. As it turned out, the result was surprisingly perfect. One of the tricks that I did use before adding them to the casserole dish and the mixture was to moisten them up just a bit with a quick dunk in warm water before putting them into the casserole layers.
I always love the journey of the preparation in the kitchen as the aromas begin to permeate the house. Here are my steps from pan to plate!
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna
1 generous square serving
1 hour, 45 minutes
- • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – good quality
- • 2 Tablespoons Butter
- • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
- • 3 Cloves Garlic – Chopped or minced
- • 2 egg yolks
- • Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon or to taste
- • Two Large Cans of Diced Tomatoes, we use our own canned tomatoes from our garden (2 large jars)
- • 2 Red Bell peppers
- • 1 large onion or 1.5 medium chopped
- • 1 box of Cremini Mushrooms
- • Ground Italian Sausage about 16 oz.
- • 1 Small Can Tomato Paste
- • 1 cup of Chianti or rich red wine
- • Fresh Basil Leaves – Chopped or torn
- • 2 Boxes of Frozen Chopped Spinach – Thawed and Drained
- • 1.5 pounds shredded or grated Mozzarella Cheese
- • 3 Cups Ricotta Cheese or one 24 – 30 ounce tub of Ricotta
- • 2 cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese or add in some Pecorino as well
- • 1 box of no-boil lasagna noodles or 12 regular dried lasagna noodles boiled Al Dente
- Step one:
- Heat the about 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan, add the butter, the garlic, and the chopped onion until it gets a bit lucent, then add the chopped red pepper, the chopped mushrooms and add in the ground Italian sausage.
- Then add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, salt and pepper and then let it simmer for about 45 minutes so that the liquid from the diced tomatoes reduces nicely. Taste and depending on your personal preferences, add in a tablespoon of honey, sugar or agave. This will balance out the acidity.
- Step two:
- In a large mixing bowl put the ricotta, chopped spinach, half of the mozzarella, ½ of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the egg yolks and mix until it has an even consistency. Then add in the grated nutmeg as well as the salt and pepper.
- Step three:
- Using a Pyrex 3-Qt Rectangular glass baking dish, or oven ready ceramic dish, or a rectangular cast iron Le Creuset. All will work just great.
- Layer a bit of olive oil and sauce at the bottom of the pan and top with three of the uncooked lasagna sheets or four of the curly cooked lasagna noodles. Top with more sauce, then add a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat with two more layers and end on top with lasagna sheets. Top with sauce and the remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Step four:
- Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F. until cooked through and brown and bubbling on top. 60 to 70 minutes.
- The lasagna can also be stored before or after baking for a make-ahead meal. If reheating after a previous cooking, bake at 375 degrees F covered for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Step five:
- Let the lasagna rest for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with a little of the parmesan cheese along with your favorite side dish. We love to complement it with a Caesar Salad and of course some baked garlic bread. Don’t forget your favorite glass of wine.
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