Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lasagna with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Lasagna can be an easy make ahead meal, especially if you make your tomato sauce ahead of time or use store bought sauce.  I actually like to use the no-boil lasagna noodles; it cuts the time in half and I don't notice any change in taste.  This time I made my own tomato sauce and added in sausage, but you could omit the meat if you want it to be vegetarian.  What I love about lasagna is how versatile it can be, you can add veggies, sometimes I add in mushrooms and/or spinach.  This recipe is a simple, traditional lasagna.  Enjoy!

Lasagna with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
15 ounce can tomato sauce
6 ounce can tomato paste
16 ounce (1 package) hot pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean brand.)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, dried
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Lasagna
9 ounce (1 box) no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Barilla brand.)
14 ounce ricotta cheese (I used whole milk ricotta.)
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup parmesan cheese

Directions for Tomato Sauce
In a dutch oven, over medium heat, cook sausage until browned.  Add in minced garlic.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, and tomato paste.  Add in parsely, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Allow to cool.

Directions for Lasagna

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium sized bowl, combine beaten eggs, ricotta cheese, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.  Set aside.

Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Spread about 2 cups of tomato sauce in bottom of baking dish.

Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top of tomato sauce, the noodles will overlap slightly.

Spread 1/3 ricotta cheese mixture over noodles.  Top with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup tomato sauce.

Next layer, arrange 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 ricotta cheese mixture, ½ cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup tomato sauce.

Next layer, arrange 4 lasagna noodles , remaining ricotta cheese mixture, ½ cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup tomato sauce.

Last layer, 4 lasagna noodles, remaining tomato sauce, and ½ cup mozzarella cheese.

Bake covered with foil for 40 to 50 minutes.  (Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray to prevent foil from sticking to the cheese.)

Uncover and continue baking for additional 5 to 7 minutes minutes until cheese is melted.

Let stand  and cool for 15 minutes before serving.