Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lasagna Sundays

Tyler wanted to start Lasagna Sundays in our house. I guess now that Parker is here we are thinking more about traditions that he will remember. You know, like the Sunday roast of years past. Who can knock a tradition that involves cheese? Not I. To kick off our first Lasagna Sunday last week, I made this basic lasagna that tastes anything but basic (thank you goat cheese, you will always have a special place in my heart).

You could also switch it up and make baked ziti instead. Use ziti or even penne instead of lasagna noodles. Then you can be lazy with the layering too. I would probably add some water to the pasta sauce though to ensure there is enough liquid to cook the pasta without drying everything out. Also, a mix of half mozzarella and half provolone cheese is delicious in baked ziti (I would leave out the goat cheese if using provolone though). I made a huge pan of baked ziti this way for a Labour Day pot luck years ago. I had totally forgotten about it until somebody recently asked me for the recipe (Courtney- this is for you!).

adapted from Ina Garten via Lottie + Doof
Makes about 8 servings
  • 3 mild Italian pork sausages, or turkey sausages, casings removed
  • 1 jar good marinara sauce
  • 1 container (about 15 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 lb (250 g) mozzarella cheese, half of it grated and half of it thinly sliced
  • 16 lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If using traditional lasagna noodles (not no-cook noodles), cook in a pot of boiling salted water until pliable- about 6 minutes or according to package directions. Lay noodles on a clean tea towel until ready to use.

Brown sausage in a frying pan over medium high heat, breaking into small pieces with a spatula while cooking. Pour off fat from pan. Reduce heat to medium, add tomato sauce to warm through.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, goat cheese, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and grated mozzarella cheese.

Spread tomato sauce in a thin layer in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Layer in this order with 4 noodles between each layer: meat sauce, cheese, meat sauce, cheese, ending with another layer of meat sauce and the remaining sliced mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through and cheese on top is starting to brown.

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