I've said it before. I'll say it again! I love Italian food! It is by far my favorite cuisine to make. Italian food has such amazing depths of flavors and seem rather complicated, but really, it is so simple. I grew up making lasagna with my mom for Sunday lunch. I hope to continue that tradition with my kids.
By the way, Lasagna is a perfect dish to set your oven Delay Timer for! Do you know if your oven has a delay timer? Check out this post to learn more about coming home to a perfectly cooked meal!
THREE CHEESE MUSHROOM LASAGNA
Get out your largest skillet and begin browning a pound of Italian sausage. (Mild or Hot. Whatever you feel you can handle!)
Chop one onion.
Dice up some mushrooms.
Toss the mushrooms and onions in the pan to cook with the sausage.
If you didn't use Hot Italian sausage, add a little red pepper flakes.
Italian seasoning goes in next.
And of course garlic! (Be prepared for lovely aromas of Italy to begin filling your kitchen....Aaahhh...)
When your sausage is cooked. Pour in a can of diced tomatoes.
Then pour in two cans of tomato sauce.
Add a little water. (This is because we are not going to boil our noodles! No need to handle hot noodles and take more time!)
Add salt and pepper. Let your sauce simmer on low for a while.
While your sauce is simmering, grab your cheeses out. You can use shredded mozzarella, but I like using the big balls of mozzarella cheese and slicing them into large circles of yummy goodness.
See what I mean... This is going to melt beautifully!
Next cheese is Ricotta. Dump the container in a medium bowl. Crack in an egg. (The egg turns the Ricotta into a fluffy layer of goodness!)
Time to add the third cheese. Parmesan! Mix it with the Ricotta.
Stir it all together.
I figure if I am going to make Lasagna, I am going to MAKE LASAGNA! I use a 10x15 glass pan (this gives me a good chance of leftovers. Depending on my crowd size.) If you want to make things even easier on yourself, make the Lasagna in a throw away tin pan! (No pan to scrub? I say, YES!)
Spread a little sauce on the bottom of your pan. Be sure you sprayed your pan with cooking spray first!!!
Grab a box of Lasagna noodles. You don't have to cook them. Just layer 'em on! Break them to fit nicely together.
Spread a third of your Ricotta mixture over the noodles.
Next layer on the Mozzarella cheese.
Next, layer sauce on top of the cheese. Then noodles, then Ricotta, then Mozzarella, then sauce, then noodles, then Ricotta, then SAUCE, then Mozzarella.... (Got it?!) End with Mozzarella on top of sauce.
Dust your Lasagna with Parmesan cheese.
At this point, you can decide to bake it right away, or you can cover it and put it in the fridge until you need it! I often will make my Lasagna on Saturday night, keep it in the fridge and bake it for Sunday lunch.
The key to your Lasagna coming out of the pan in a nice piece is to let it rest a little after taking out of the oven.
Mmmmm... I want a big bite!!!! So delicious!!
THREE CHEESE MUSHROOM LASAGNA
1 lb Mild Italian Sausage
1 medium Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbsp diced Garlic
1 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
2 14 oz. cans Tomato Sauce
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/4 C. Water
1 1/2 lbs Mozzarella Cheese
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
1 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1-1 1/2 boxes of Lasagna Noodles
In a large skillet, begin browning the sausage. Add onions and mushrooms and continue cooking until meat is browned. Stir in Garlic. Dump in diced tomatoes & tomato sauce. Add red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and water. Simmer sauce for 20 min or more. In a medium bowl mix together Ricotta, egg, and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spray a glass 10x15 pan with cooking spray. Layer sauce, uncooked lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, sauce. Repeat twice. On last layer reverse order the mozzarella and sauce. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350˚ for 1 hour. Allow Lasagna to sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!