Recipe by Sharlene~W
This is a lasagna alternative I found in an old issue of "Canadian Living". It was from an article spotlighting personal chefs and make-ahead dishes. Bake in two 9x9-inch dishes or one very large casserole. CHEF NOTE: After making this several times, I prefer to make the "topping" more cheesy. I reduce flour to 1/4 cup and reduce milk to 2 cups, increasing cheese to a generous 1 cups mozzarella cheese with another half cup or more sprinkled over top.
Top Review by Amber Dawn
Made this in two casserole dishes (one to keep and one to share). Warning--8x8 is too small! It was spilling out over the edge when it was baking. I'd use at least 10x10 for 2 or a VERY large casserole dish for one. ...and OMG absolutely delicious!
- 2 lbs mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 (28 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 (12 ounce) package spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (see chef note in introduction)
- 3 cups milk
- 3⁄4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Directions See How It's Made
- In a large pot, cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks with a spatula.
- Cook until it is no longer pink.
- Drain off fat.
- Add onions, garlic and basil and cook for another 5 minutes to soften onions.
- Add mushrooms and cook until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste and pepper; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until most of liquid is evaporated.
- Stir in spinach.
- Meanwhile, for topping: in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
- Whisk in the milk.
- Cook, whisking constantly for 12 to 15 minutes until sauce is thickened.
- Add mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, for noodles: cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until tender but firm.
- Drain and add to MEAT sauce; toss to coat.
- Spread in 2 greased 8-inch square glass baking dishes (this is what original recipe says, but not adequate--try 2 9 x 13-inch pans instead); pour topping over and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in 375F° oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden.