I am so glad I tried this recipe! Using ground sausage instead of ground beef gives the lasagna sauce wonderful flavor. This recipe is so versatile that you can change it up to fit your taste. Russell and I love garlic so I always add extra. I love the flavor of this sauce so much, I make it just for spaghetti. The preparation of this dish is somewhat involved and the total baking time is almost an hour; so for me this is a wonderful dish to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon!
- 12 lasagna noodles (I have used no-boil and traditional boil lasagna noodles and prefer no-boil noodles)
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- 2/3 cup onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (We love garlic, so I used more)
- 2/3 cup minced flat-leaf parsley, divided ( I used dried parsley to taste)
- 3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
- 15 oz. tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1½ tsp. basil
- 1½ tsp. oregano
- 15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
- 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I only used half this much)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used the entire package)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. garlic salt (I used 1 tsp. garlic salt and 1 tsp. minced garlic)
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (I use a little more)
If using the traditional lasagna noodles (verses the no-boil kind), cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. I recommend laying the the lasagna noodles flat once they are drained to prevent them from sticking together and tearing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the noodles are boiling, combine sausage, onion, garlic, and parsley. Cook until meat is brown and cooked through.
Once meat is brown and cooked through, add tomato paste, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta, 1/2 package spinach, 1 tsp minced garlic or one clove minced fresh garlic, 1 tsp. garlic salt, parmesan, pepper, and eggs.
Now the steps to assembling everything varies depending on whether you use no-boil noodles or traditional boil noodles. If you are using no-boil noodles you need to make sure either sauce or the ricotta mixture are on top of the noodles, to ensure they have enough liquid to cook.
For no-boil noodles, place approximately 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13” baking dish. Followed by noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella cheese, sauce, noodles, sauce, mozzarella and the remaining parmesan.
For traditional noodles, place approximately 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13” baking dish. Followed by noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella, noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella, noodles, sauce, mozzarella and remaining parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let cool and set another 10 minutes before serving.