Friday, July 3, 2009

Foodie Friday - Lasagna

Foodie Friday is such a wonderful day of sharing fun recipes - hard on the diet though - oh well! Thanks Gollum at "Designs by Gollum" for hosting this every week -- I really look forward to it.

I guess everybody sort of has a "signature" dish. The one that gets requested at family gatherings. Mine is lasagna. This is what my son-in-law requested for his "cowboy" birthday and it's what I make for Christmas. I realize that usually the recipes I share and the quick and easy ones -- this one is not, but well worth the time and effort to make - I've tried several lasagna recipes, but we think that this one is the best by far.

Spinach Lasagna with Italian Sausage

1 pk. Italian sausage (I like the kind that is ground - it's usually a bit over a pound)
1 onion sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can italian diced tomatoes
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (4 ox) cans tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1.2 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Cheese filling:
1 - 16 oz container ricotta cheese or small curd cottage cheese
1 egg
1 - 10 oz package frozen spinach, cooked and drained well
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

3 cups mozarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

cooked lasagna noodles, enough to make 3 layers in 13x9 baking dish.

The sauce can be made in a crock-pot

simmer onions and garlic in olive oil until clear.

Cook Italian sausage in separate pan on stove and drain. Once onions are cooked, add tomatoes, tomato paste and sauce, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, bay leaf and cooked Italian sausage. Stir until mixed.

to prepare filling:

add ricotta/cottage cheese, cooked drained spinach, parsley, egg, basil, pepper and parmesan cheese in bowl and mix well.

When ready to prepare lasagna:

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sauce in bottom of 13X9 baking dish. cover with noodles. Cover noodles with 1/2 of the filling mixture and top with 1 cup of mozarella cheese.

Add 1 cup sauce. Repeat one more time. Add another layer of noodles, *remaining sauce and top with 1/4 cup extra parmesan cheese and the remaining mozerella cheese.
(*if you run short of meat sauce top with some tomato paste and sauce mixed together - most recipes don't call for sauce at this point, but this keeps the noodles soft)

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly brown.

This is really good and so worth the time - trust me! What's your "signature" dish?

We're not having lasagna for the 4th -- I'm trying out a new recipe for Blackberry Wine Cake -- hopefully, I'll share that next "Foodie Friday" - be sure to check out what everybody else is cooking up over at "Designs By Gollum"

'til then --
See ya!


  1. I always use spicy Italian sausage in my lasagna and my spaghetti sauces. We love spicy at our house. Have you ever used the noodles that you don't have to cook first? You have to use a little extra sauce but they save you a lot of trouble. I have a hard time with those hot slippery strips of pasta.
    Any way enough about me...I think your recipe is delicious and it looks so satisfying. No wonder you get requests.

  2. Oh my goodness - That made me hungry and I just had lunch! I adore lasagna - what a wonderful dish to be known for!!! :D Jewel

  3. Yum! I rarely make lasagna but I'll definitely keep this recipe!


  4. Nothing like a good, tried and true lasagna recipe! I love lasagna and switched to those no-cook noodles a few years back, so much easier and no one noticed. My signature dish? Also lasagna, but mine is made with roasted chicken, zucchini, mushrooms and fire-roasted tomatoes. Ridiculous amount of work, but I love it as much as my family does.

    Happy 4th! I'm coming back next week to check how the cake comes out.

  5. Hope you have a Happy 4th of July weekend :) ♥ HUGS ♥

  6. Hi Martha! Oh, Lasagna is one of my favorite foods and your recipe sounds delicious! Have a wonderful celebration tomorrow! I'll be wearing my green apron you gave me!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. Mmmmm...this lasagna looks and sounds so good! I make a similar one, but it has an alfredo sauce instead of a tomato based sauce. I'll have to try this out!

  8. Yummy! Happy Independence Day!...Christine

  9. Wow, that looks yummy! I'll have to try the Italian sausage in mine, I usually just use ground beef. I bet that adds a lot of flavor!

    Thanks for posting!


  10. Did you say blackberry WINE cake? Oh my - I HAVE to try that one. There is no calories in it, right? Hmmmm . . . where to get blackberry wine!!!! Any ideas? Maybe I'll try Trader Joes . . .
    Your lasagna sounds positively yummy - But I absolutely refuse to turn the oven on in the summer. If we can't grill it, we don't have any! LOL.
    But I will definitely try it come cooler weather.
    You are so funny! Thanks for your comments about my "empty" dishes and my dishaholicness (is that a word? probably not!) I do love the colors and hope to use them often!!!!
    Have a great rest of your weekend!

  11. Hi, Martha. Your lasagna sounds fantastic! I have to try it asap (or at least make a run to my favorite local, family-owned Italian place!).

    Hope you had a wonderful 4th! Thank you for visiting and commenting on my Rock Sharpe post. Now I want to see YOUR glasses!
    Warm regards,

  12. Martha it looks great. I want someL)

  13. Oh, Dear Martha! Your comments are about to make me cry! I appreciate you and your sweet words so very much! Thank you for all of your kindness to me! I have entered your name in my giveaway!
    be a sweetie,
    shelia ;0

  14. Thanks for stopping by. Molly is adorable and your 4th of July table is so pretty...I guess I missed it last week. Thanks for the comments on Bentley...I will keep blogland posted on his life!!

  15. Martha, I am still craving lasagna! I MUST do something about it asap!!!

    Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by and commenting on the gardening post! I wasn't sure if there would be any interest -- still taking baby steps here, but also learning and definitely meeting a lot of nice folks.

    Hope your week goes well!
    Bill @ Affordable Accoutrements

  16. Hi Martha! I am a big fan of lasagna and this recipe loooks really yummy! I love it that it was served at the cowboy birthday party! I saw the cutest little cowboy candle holder at GW last week and thought about how cute it would have been at that party! I hope you are having a good week!...Debbie

  17. Martha your table is beautiful! Welcome to Molly!!

    The Lasagna looks so good. I haven't made it in a long time. You've inspired me to prepare this wonderful meal, again!