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Leaving on a Trip Lasagne

(recipe, Suzanne Cope)


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Introduction

This recipe is for preparing lasagne to go in the freezer — leaving it behind for loved ones to enjoy.

Ingredients

  1. 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  2. ½ cup minced onion
  3. 16 oz. ricotta cheese
  4. 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  5. 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  6. 1 cup blanched, chopped spinach (defrosted is fine; for fresh spinach, see Note)
  7. Dried oregano
  8. Dried basil
  9. Salt and pepper
  10. 4 cups homemade tomato sauce (Tomato Sauce with Roasted Vegetables, for instance)
  11. 1 package fresh or no-boil lasagna noodles
  12. 1 lb. sweet or hot ground Italian sausage (or a mix of the two), browned and cooked thoroughly
  13. 2 cups shredded mozzarella

Steps

  1. Spray (or coat lightly with olive oil) a 10-inch-by-10-inch baking dish (or the equivalent).
  2. Warm the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the minced onion until soft; remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, ½ cup of the Parmesan, garlic, spinach, onions, and a few shakes of each seasoning.
  4. When it's time to assemble the lasagne, ladle a couple of spoonfuls of sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan and spread it around. Arrange a layer of noodles over the sauce — cut or break them to fit the pan. Next, spread half of the sausage, half of the ricotta mixture, and one-third of the mozzarella. Cover that with a layer of pasta and sauce. Repeat. Cover the lasagne with sauce — make sure it is good and drowned — and then top with last of the mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Cover the pan with a sheet of foil, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. The lasagne can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  6. When you're ready to eat it, thaw the pan in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the plastic wrap, then bake the lasagne in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook, uncovered, for another 20 minutes or until the lasagne is hot, bubbly, and warmed through.

Note

To use fresh baby spinach: Add three cups fresh baby spinach to the onions when they are nearly soft; let cook for a few more minutes until spinach has wilted. Allow to cool before adding it to the cheese mixture.