Lasagna has become a classic at potlucks. This recipe is easy to prepare and can be done in advance. Lasagna keeps up to three days in advance in the fridge and you bake it on the day you’ll be serving. If you need to prepare longer in advance, I suggest you bake it, cool it and freeze it, heating it on the day you will serve.
Once again, this recipe can be done without the sausage if you’re vegetarian. If you don’t eat pork, substitute the sausage for minced meat.
- 1 lb lasagna
- 1lb italian sausage (mild or hot)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Fennel seeds to taste
- 1 1/2 jars of your favorite pasta tomato sauce
- 1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and extra moisture squeezed out
- 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
- A pinch of nutmeg, grated
- 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Cook lasagna according to package instructions, about 8 minutes, or until just tender to bite;
- Drain pasta, run through cold water and drain again. Set aside;
- Remove the casing of the sausages and chop or crumble;
- In a wide skillet over medium-high heat, fry the sausage meat until it starts to brown (8 to 10 minutes);
- Drain the drippings in the skillet, saving about 1 tablespoon;
- Return skillet to heat and add the fennel seeds and vinegar, stirring until mixture is hot;
- Turn off the heat and add the tomato sauce. Set aside;
- In a bowl mix the spinach, ricotta cheese and a pinch of grated nutmeg. Set aside;
- Start layering the lasagna in a large deep ovenproof baking dish, lightly greased;
- Begin by spreading the sauce on the bottom of the dish;
- Next, layer enough pasta sheets to cover the sauce and follow with a layer of the ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese;
- Repeat the layers, finishing with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses;
- Bake uncovered in a 400º oven until bubbly and hot in the center, about 30 minutes.
- If you want a healthier and gluten free version, you may substitute the lasagna pasta for long thin slices of zucchini or eggplant.
- For a vegetarian lasagna, use just the ricotta and spinach filling.