Monday, September 22, 2008

Italian Spinach Lasagna

Here is a recipe that I made up myself based on what types of things I like in my lasagna and this is what I came up with. (most of the made up part is the sauce, the filling is similar to basic lasagna filling that you find in most lasagnas, but it is the sauce that makes this dish unique) I fixed it last night and it was a hit with everyone, they loved it. Just mop up any sauce with some nice crusty french bread or sourdough bread, put a salad on the side (we eat alot of salad, couldn't you tell, we have it most every night which is why the scarce vegetable dish recipes on this blog, but I have some coming soon) and you have yourself a great meal that the whole family will love. So, here you go, enjoy the recipe and if you like it, let me know by leaving me a comment!

Italian Spinach Lasagna

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage (either hot or spicy whichever you prefer, I use mild since I have a 3 yr old that doesn't like spicy)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 - 28 oz can of tomato sauce (or whatever is close to it, I think that large can is 28 oz)
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
1 - 2.25 oz can sliced olives
4 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1 - 15 oz tub ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Other Ingredients:
8 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
2 cups washed baby spinach leaves
2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)

1. Put olive oil in a skillet; cook sausage and onion until sausage is done.
2. Put sausage and onion in crock pot; add other sauce ingredients and turn crock pot on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours to cook sauce and incorporate flavors.
3. While sauce is cooking, mix together ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, egg, and parsley in a bowl. Chill until ready to use.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Wash spinach leaves and set aside.
6. Cook noodles until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
7. Spray 8x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
8. Start with 4 noodles for bottom layer, then add the sauce, then spinach, then 1/4 cup parmesan sprinkled over spinach, then ricotta mixture, then 1 cup mozzarella cheese; repeat until ingredients are gone. You can get 2 layers of each item in the pan.
9. Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
10. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
11. Enjoy with garlic bread and some salad if desired.


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