Lasagna is that fabulous type of dish that can provide multiple meals by virtue of storing well and being easy to make in large quantities. It's the kind of food that anyone can make at gourmet quality as well. Conveniently, it allows you to put all the elements of a balanced meal (vegetables, meat, carbs) into one preparation. And one recent weekend, when I was alone and in the mood for some simple yet hearty sustenance, I elected to make a less-conventional white lasagna with a bechamel-based sauce, and to incorporate hot Italian sausage, fresh spinach, and mushrooms. It came out really well, and it fed me for an entire weekend!
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- a few handfuls of good parmesan cheese
- 1 large bag fresh spinach
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
- 1.5 lbs. Hot Italian Sausage (ground or removed from casings)
- 1 lb. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp crushed red chili flakes
- 3-4 leaves of fresh basil, sliced very thin
- 4-6 sheets of lasagna, boiled just under al dente
- 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
Melt the butter over medium heat, and then whisk in the flour to create a roux. Let the roux cook for about 5 minutes to brown and remove raw flour taste, and then add the milk, streaming it in while whisking vigorously. Let the mixture come back to a boil. Let boil until a thick sauce is made. Reduce heat and add 2 or 3 handful of Parmesan, whisking vigorously as the cheese goes in. Cover and leave on low heat.
|Sauteing the meat mixture|
In a mixing bowl, combine, the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper to taste, 2-4 handfuls of fresh Parmesan, and the lemon zest. Set aside.
In salted water, cook the lasagna sheets according to package directions, but not fully. They will finish in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 deg. To arrange the lasagna, start by buttering the bottom of your casserole. First, put a layer of pasta sheets down. After that, the order is: ricotta mix, sausage mix, white sauce, mozzarella cheese. Repeat until the casserole is full. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.Enjoy
|The final meat layer in the casserole|
|Cover with cheese|
|Hot and bubbly out of the oven!|