Friday, January 27, 2012

Easy Lasagna rated best of 14 recipes

©Sharon Watterson

An old lasagna recipe handed down from a master cooker, uses Jimmy Dean's Sausage instead of hamburger. Several years ago, when a friend was ill and received 14 lasagnas from helpful neighbors, this one was judged the best! The sausage gives the Italian recipe favorite extra flavor and is simple to prepare for a group. The secret to this easy meal is to not overcook the noodles. Lasagna servings are easy to manage and don't fall apart when cut from the casserole. There's no better time than the Super Bowl to try out this winner!  Party recipe for about 15 servings. 

Lasagna ingredients:
2 pounds Jimmy Dean's sausage, purchase separately or in 2# package at BJ's
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32 oz. jar Classico Tomato/Basil spaghetti sauce
1 pkg, regular lasagna noodles, about 20 count
1 16 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 lg bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tblsp dried basil or several fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tblsp dried or fresh parsley
Pyrex or other full-size lasagna pan, lightly greased with Crisco or cooking spray

In a large frying pan, saute sausage with chopped onion and minced garlic, sprinkle with oregano. When sausage is browned, add Classico sauce and mix. Keep warm on lowest setting while cooking lasagna noodles in salted water to package directions, minus one minute (about 9 minutes). When cooked, add a ladleful of the pasta water to the sauce mixture. Immediately drain noodles and spray with cold water to cease cooking and handling ease. Add two eggs to ricotta cheese with a little salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp basil and mix. Set aside.

Start building the lasagna. Spread about two tablespoons of the sauce in the bottom of the lasagna pan, add a layer of noodles, dollup the sauce in serving spaces of noodles, using a tablespoon, dollup ricotta and eggs blend, sprinkle entire layer with Parmesan and mozzarella and a little parsley and fresh ground pepper. Repeat this layering technique until all noodles are used. For top layer, do not add ricotta cheese, just the last of the sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella and extra parsley. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

©Sharon Watterson
Bake in a 400 degree oven for one hour. Remove foil and cook another 15 minutes to brown on top. Remove from oven carefully and let sit for 20 minutes. Serve with fresh green salad and crusty bread and butter.

©Sharon Watterson
Check out my New England clam chowder recipe, it's an old family recipe.
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