Saturday, November 27, 2010

Portobello, Spinach and Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna

Can you believe that I’d never made lasagna until about a month ago? Of all the other recipes I’ve tried, you’d think I’d know how to make lasagna – it’s so easy! Plus, it makes a ton, which is awesome for the leftover situation. Also, lasagna freezes well, so even if you don’t want the leftovers (I can’t imagine why), or maybe you’re going out of town this week (which was our case), it can be frozen to enjoy later. And let me tell you, when you realize that you have THIS lasagna in your freezer, you will want it to be your dinner the night you get home and realize you have no time to prepare anything.

We’ve made both the vegetarian and the meat-eater version, and both are absolutely incredible.

Not going to lie, the photos I took look terrible. The lasagna was so juicy and gooey that it was very difficult to make it look presentable on a plate. So, I'll just whet your appetite with the photo when the lasagna came out of the oven and you'll just have to make it for yourself to taste how incredible it is. Trust me, it's amazing!

Portobello, Spinach and Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna
Original recipe from Jon Skogen, tweaked a bit :)

1 large bag of organic baby spinach
3 cloves of garlic, diced
12 oz Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 pound (or a little more) of spicy Italian sausage
Whole wheat lasagna noodles
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 tsp dried parsley, use more if desired
1 tsp Italian seasoning, use more if desired
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
1 ½ cups shredded parmesan
2 26oz cans pasta sauce – I used spicy tomato and basil and added some spices too


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

The original recipe does not call for boiling the noodles, although I boil them until they are soft, but too hard to be al dente.

Sauté the mushrooms for about 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat in a skillet, until they are deeply colored and fragrant. Transfer them to a plate or large bowl, and return the skillet back to the heat.

Wilt the spinach with the garlic in the skillet for about 3 minutes, then when dark green, transfer to a plate or large bowl.

Brown the Italian sausage. When it is done, it can stay in the pan until it is time for the layering.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese and egg. Add parsley flakes and Italian seasoning to mixture.

First, coat the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of pasta sauce (make sure it is seasoned to your liking. I usually heat it in a pan and add red pepper flakes to give it a little kick). Place noodles, not overlapping, on the sauce. Add equal amounts of spinach and mushrooms as the next layer. Add a layer of Italian sausage. Top this with dollops of the ricotta cheese and a thin layer of shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Coat with sauce, and then continue the pattern until ingredients run out. Top the final layer with remaining mozzarella and ricotta cheese.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and let cool a little bit before serving.

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