Mile High Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

Cooking dinner for a family can be challenging. Each person has different likes and dislikes when it comes to eating.  And with today’s busy daily schedules, families may eat in shifts depending on the activities of the day. 

One dish that is sure to delight is lasagna. Made with crowd pleasing pasta, a sauce studded with Italian spiced sausage, and three flavorful cheeses, Mile High Spinach and Sausage Lasagna will be a family favorite around the dinner table. 

I always kind of winged it when I made lasagna. With the basics of pasta, sauce, and cheese, I would layer the ingredients in a baking dish and hope for the best. At times, my lasagna would come out perfectly. Just enough sauce and just enough cheese were layered with the pasta to make a delicious piece of lasagna. Other times my lasagna would come out too dry because I didn’t add enough sauce. Also, the layers were too thin with not enough cheese sandwiched between pasta. Still other times my sauce proportions were way out of whack.  The layers would slide off each other and be swimming in a plate of marinara. 

After years of trial and error, I finally set out to take copious notes as I assembled my lasagna. The result was a multilayered masterpiece.  The correct proportions of the ingredients helped achieve a delicious lasagna every time. 

I always found that the no-boil noodles left too much room for error.  Generous amounts of marinara are need to cook the noodles as the lasagna bakes. The result was usually a watery entrée.  And the texture of the no boil noodles was more paper like than the tender wavy traditional lasagna noodles that are cooked in a pot of boiling water. 

Crumbled and cooked Italian sausage along with sautéed onions and garlic season the scrumptious tomato sauce. Three different cheeses each add a distinctive texture and flavor to the entrée. Creamy ricotta adds a lusciousness to each bite.  Mozzarella melts beautifully throughout the layers. Parmesan cheese’s sharp and salty flavor enriches the flavor of the lasagna. Chopped spinach is snuck into the layers to up the nutritional value of the dish. 

Lasagna is one of those dishes that freezes magnificently. After assembling the entrée, cool completely, and wrap in plastic wrap and then foil. It can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw in the refrigerator and then bake as directed in the recipe.

mile-high-lasagna

 

Mile High Spinach and Sausage Lasagna
Author: 
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried basil, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme, divided
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Italian sausage and continue cooking until browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, basil, and thyme and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, chopped spinach, egg, and the remaining ½ teaspoon each of the oregano, basil, and thyme. Set aside.
  5. Assemble the lasagna in a 9 by 9 inch pan. Spread about ½ cup of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Top with a single layer of the cooked noodles cutting them to just fit in the bottom of the pan. Spread with ⅓ of the ricotta mixture, top with ¼ of the sauce and ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layering procedure 2 more times. Top with a final layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, and the last ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Place the lasagna on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly around the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Notes
Recipe by Amy Casey ~ 2016

© 2016 amycaseycooks
www.amycaseycooks.com

 

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