Today was a magical day.
I have been so busy lately buzzing from one project to another that I rarely have time to just cook. Some nights, I whip up some stir fry, tortellini, pizza, or other 15-minute meals that my husband and I can enjoy after we have both worked late into the evening. Today was different though. I tied my apron on and chopped, boiled, rinsed, simmered, baked, and grated. It was so cathartic! If preparing this recipe does not make your heart soar like it does mine, then eating it surely will.
Here is how to make my favorite, heart-warming lasagna.
1 box of lasagna noodles
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbps olive oil
1 lb sweet italian sausage, casings removed
28 oz crushed tomatoes with basil
6 oz tomato paste
1 egg, beaten
6 oz goat cheese
12 oz riccotta cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1.5 cup freshly grated parmesean
1 pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a large casserole dish.
Start by soaking the lasagna noodles in a bowl of hot tap water. Let them sit until you are ready to assemble the casserole. *Tip: Soak your onion in there also so you do not cry when chopping
In a large pan, simmer the onion for five minutes in olive oil. After 5 minutes, add the chopped garlic and stir for one minute.
Add the sausage and break apart. Cook until no longer pink. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Now is time for an important step. Put away your Kraft Parmesan powder and grate yourself some real, fresh parmesan cheese. A $30 box grater will change your life. The real cheese makes all the difference!
While the sauce is simmering, combine the egg, ricotta, goat cheese, fresh Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
After the sauce has simmered for 10 to 15 minutes, pour 1/2 of the sauce onto the bottom of a casserole dish.
Everything that is right in the world is about to happen in this pan. Get ready. After the first layer of sauce goes down, drain the noodles from the water and place a layer across the pan. (I am such a geek, I just typed “lawyer” instead of “layer.” Pathetic!) Next, a layer half of the ricotta mixture topped with half of the mozzarella.
Now, do it all again. Layer the remainder of the sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella.
Top with some freshly-grated parmesan cheese and a dash of red pepper. I was feeling a little spicy tonight. Put in the oven for 30 minutes, uncovered.
The end result is a golden, bubbly, delicious-smelling miracle right on your stovetop. Let it sit for 10 minutes before diving in.
How can you not love this? The goat cheese is the perfect savory ingredient to this dish; harmonizing with the sweet italian sausage and salty parmesan cheese. Jason and I enjoyed this meal watching our latest TV-obsession, “Damages” with Glenn Close. We are almost done with Season 2 and are dying to know who put the hit on Uncle Pete. And where does Ellen get her fabulous lawyer-chic wardrobe? Everything about this show intrigues me lately. Luckily, the comforting effects of this lasagna has kept us calm and collected. You should see what it does for you!
See you guys next time! Thank you for reading my blog, and enjoy!