Lasagna is one of my son’s all-time favorite dishes, mine as well. But then again, I’ll eat any type of pasta, anytime. The thing about Lasagna is that it’s a time-consuming dish, so lately when I make it, I make two dishes and freeze one. You want to make sure you freeze the assembled Lasagna before it is baked. Then just thaw it in the refrigerator for a day before baking.
What I really like about Anne Burrell’s recipe is how the Basil is mixed in with the Ricotta cheese which gives it a wonderful flavor. In my opinion, the greatest thing about Lasagna is how versatile it is. You can make it a hundred different ways by substitute whatever type of vegetables and/or meats your heart desires. I don’t really think that I have made the same Lasagna twice because it is always a little different. A very helpful tip that Anne Burrell also gave on her show was to layer the lasagna noodles in a criss-cross fashion to help prevent the lasagna from gliding apart once it’s cut and to let it cool down for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting into. Fifteen minutes are an eternity when your hungry and it’s Lasagna your waiting for.
1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
a pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 oz fresh baby spinach
2 cups ricotta cheese
8-10 basil leaves, chopped
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
your favorite home-made marinara sauce
16 oz package lasagna noodles
1 lb grated mozzarella cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 7 minutes, drain and lay flat on a baking sheet, set aside.
Break apart Italian sausage and brown in pan, set aside. Add sliced mushrooms and crushed red pepper flakes to pan, season with salt and cook until soft. Add garlic and spinach and cook just until spinach is wilting. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a small bowl combine ricotta cheese, basil, egg and 1/2 the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix to combine and season with salt. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish add a couple of ladles of marinara sauce and spread evenly. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles over sauce. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles in the opposite direction and top with sauce, 1/3 of mushroom mixture, mozzarella cheese and some of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat these layers until all ingredients are used up and the pan is full. Make sure that the top layer consist of marinara sauce topped with cheese.
Place dish on baking sheet, cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes of baking time to brown the top. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
Source: adapted from Anne Burrell