Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 min
This is a traditional lasagna with tons of flavor -- not bland. I've stayed with this one for quite a long time and it seems to have universal appeal for all ages. I have also used as many as 8 minced garlic cloves to bump it up even further on the flavor scale with great results.
- 56 ounces spaghetti sauce (canned)
- 1 lb lasagna noodle, dry
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese (or, cottage cheese)
- 1 cup romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 2 teaspoons dried sweet basil leaves
- 6 Italian sausages
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground chuck
- 1 tablespoon Italian spices (see directions)
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
- cooking spray
- De-case the Italian sausages and break the meat up into a large cooking pot with the ground chuck. Brown the mix, breaking up chunks as much as possible, and drain.
- Return the browned meat to the cooking pot and add the spaghetti sauce, Italian spices, red wine, and minced garlic. (To make a batch of Italian spices, use Dee514's recipe #38293 thus combining: 2 tablespoons dried basil, 2 tablespoons dried marjoram, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes) Simmer for 15 minutes, covered, stirring frequently. At the end of 15 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
- Boil the lasagna noodles in a large pot of water until tender and drain. Shock the hot noodles in a rinse of cold water and re-drain (this keeps noodles from getting mushy during the baking process).
- Spray three 8" x 8" casserole dishes with cooking spray. Put a small amount of sauce in each dish to just barely cover the bottom of each one.
- Next, layer each dish (do one at a time) in this order: (layer #1) lasagna noodles, sauce, Ricotto cheese; (layer #2) noodles, sauce, Monterey Jack and Romano, spinach; (layer #3) noodles, sauce, mozarella cheese and garnish the top with a very light sprinkling of dried basil. (Lasagna noodles are about a foot long when cooked so you'll have to trim the long ones and fit the shorter pieces into the layers as needed. If they are sticking together, just dampen them a little with a couple of tablespoons of cool water.
- Cover each casserole with aluminum foil ("tent" the foil a bit so that it doesn't touch the cheese topping). At this point, you can decide which casseroles to freeze and which to bake.
- Bake casseroles in a pre-heated 375-degree F. oven for 40 minutes, covered. Then take off the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, remove from oven. (When baking a frozen lasagna, add 20 minutes to the "covered" cooking time).
- Allow the lasagna to rest (on a rack, if available) for 15 minutes and then cut into serving pieces (I get four servings per each 8" x 8" casserole).