Monday, May 24, 2010

Lasagna with Sausage and Bacon

Here is a post partum meal that I made before Violet joined us. This one I made two of, one for us and one for my sister Caitlyn. My baby daughter is lucky that her closest cousin comes only a few weeks after her. Caitlyn's due date is exactly one month after mine. My gift to Caitlyn is freezer meals. When I made one for me, I made one for her. So once my new nephew joins the family in June, I will be unloading my freezer and heading over to Caitlyn's to fill her freezer.

I did this lasagna a little different. Most lasagna recipes are made in a 9x13 inch pan, but I split it into two 9x5 inch bread pans. I could have done 8x8 inch pans, but I like a big, thick piece of lasagna, so bread pans are perfect. I could have doubled the recipe, but I knew that my family and Caitlyn's wouldn't need an entire 9x13 inch pan of lasagna. A 9x5 inch bread pan was perfect. If you have a small family, make this lasagna in two pans and then freeze one. All the work once, a dinner twice. At the end of this post, I will write down the directions for cooking a frozen lasagna.

Who doesn't like a thick piece of lasagna? Not a soul.

This lasagna is a recipe that I am surprised I have never posted. I have been making this since I was a newlywed. And it's in the Peterson Family Cookbook that my mom gives to the new brides in our family. This lasagna is a classic lasagna. Provolone and mozzarella, sausage, tomato sauce with bacon and then ricotta cheese. It requires a little extra time with making the sauce, but it can be made a day ahead, which is what I did. Whenever I make this, I always forget to double up on the pasta. I always like more pasta in it than normal, yet I always forget to add more. Do what you will.

For the sauce:
1 onion, diced
1 lb bacon, diced
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
A few grinds black pepper
2 28 oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup water

In a large skillet over medium heat, add bacon and onion. Saute until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent. Add fennel, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir well. Pour in tomato sauce and water. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours, until sauce is thick. Let sauce cool before layering with the lasagna.

For the fillings:
2 lbs bulk Italian sausage
1 pint ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
6 cups shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese blend
1 16 oz package lasagna sheets

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add sausage. Saute, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Pour sausage onto a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, parsley and oregano. Stir well and set aside.

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Ladle 1/3 of tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Add a layer of uncooked lasagna sheets. Carefully spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese over the pasta. Evenly sprinkle 1/3 of the sausage over the ricotta. And then sprinkle 2 cups of the mozzarella and provolone cheese blend over the sausage. Repeat two times.

Cover with foil and bake lasagna for 1 1/2 hours. In the last 20 minutes of baking, remove the foil, so the cheese can brown.

Yields 12 servings.

Rookie's Notes: If you are cooking this from the freezer, let it sit out for an hour before baking time. And then bake it for 2 hours.

On a completely different note- HOW 'BOUT THAT "LOST" FINALE!?! We just loved it. I couldn't be more content with how they tied it all up in a pretty little package. Who is my favorite character? Desmond. I have loved him from the beginning. And he was a shining star in the finale.

Click here.


Joanna said...

I loved the LOST finale too! No complaints from me. I loved that Hugo ended up as the boss, Sawyer found Juliette, Richard got off the island, Frank Lapedis survived, and Ben was finally sorry. My favorite characters were Sun and Jin, and (oddly) Ben.

Cathy said...

That lasagna sounds delicious! I'm going to give it a try. Anything I can make extras of and freeze is a winner in my book. And Desmond's my favorite too.

Shanicherie said...

Yum, love lasagna! RIGHT after we watched Lost, I was like...WTF! But then after sleeping on it I feel really happy with the ending. Just thought the parallel reality to find each other was a little weird! I so wanted to hug Ben at the end!

Jessica said...

Whitney-congratulations on the new addition!!! She is so beautiful!!!!

Ingrid said...

Just you wait a couple of more years and that little loaf pan will only feed Jack and Van. :)

cat+tadd said...

I cant tell you how freaking excited I am for those meals. Mmmmmm mmmmmm!

Ashley said...

I thought you were allergic to lasagna.

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jen said...

amen on that finale! i love lasagne, but the husband isn't a fan. i know. craziness.

Cheryl Fowers said...

We made this and it was great! We substituted the ricotta with cottage cheese, for a little change. It had such good flavor the sauce was perfect! Another great recipe!