Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Impromptu Lasagna

This is another one of those foods that comes in so many variations that I can't pick a favorite.  Lasagna is more of a method than a recipe.  It has lots of benefits.  It's a casserole, which makes it great for sharing.  It freezes beautifully, and it is really popular with kids and adults alike.  

Yesterday at 4:00, I decided to have dinner guests at 6:00.  At 4:30, I drove to the grocery store in a kind of panic.  I knew the friends I was having over aren't picky eaters, so it wasn't that.  I was frantically searching my brain for a recipe I could throw together quickly and confidently.  In the end, it was going to be steak and potatoes or lasagna.  Lasagna won out when I realized that steak required more side dishes, and side dishes require time!

Here's what I threw together.  I served it with a salad of chopped tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and basil tossed in balsamic vinagrette.  Garlic bread was also necessary :-)  Because I am still in the Netherlands, my ingredients and amounts might be a bit different, but you get the idea!

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

4 links Italian sausage (I used 3, plus a bit of ground beef)
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small jar of pasta sauce plus a can of tomato sauce
lasagna noodles (I used spinach)
1 container or ricotta
1 egg
frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1 bag shredded cheese (I used gouda, but you can use whatever)

Squeeze the sausage out of it's casing and brown over medium heat, breaking up the sausage with your spatula.  Drain the fat from the sausage and then add the chopped onion and garlic.  Continue to saute until sausage is brown and onions are translucent.  Add in the tomato sauce and bring it all to a simmer. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if necessary.  You could also stir in some chopped fresh basil at this point.

Boil the lasagna noodles according to package directions.

Mix the ricotta together with the egg.

Layer your lasagna (I used a pyrex dish a bit smaller than 9x13) as follows:

1 thin layer meat sauce
1/2 ricotta mixture
1/3 remaining meat sauce
1/2 spinach
1/3 shredded cheese
remaining ricotta mixture
1/3 remaining meat sauce
remaining spinach
1/3 shredded cheese
remaining meat sauce
remaining shredded cheese

I baked it at 400 degrees covered with foil for 20 minutes and uncovered for 20 minutes.

This was a really tasty lasagna that held its shape when sliced.  If I had more prep time, I might throw in some olives or freshly grated parm.  As is, I was pleased with this lasagna.  I hope you'll give it a try!


  1. You're right. I don't think I've ever made lasagna the same way twice. This one looks yummy and Gouda, huh? Sounds so good.

  2. Gouda is the only cheap shredded cheese here. At home, I would use an Italian blend.

  3. Hey! My Leiden South Holland blog friend! DOntcha love that I dedicated a post just for you??
    Thanks for introducing yourself! Feel free to leave comments at will.
    Say, whatcha doing in the Netherlands anyway?

  4. I found your blog off of Momza's house. Your recipes look delicious. I especially like that you have included pictures! I always enjoy new ideas for dinner.

  5. Thanks for stopping by to visit me! This lasagna looks so tasty...I love gouda!! Yum..keep up the tasty blogging :)

  6. It looks good! How much like straight-up lasagna did it taste? I'm powerfully anti regular lasagna, but I can be won over with non-traditional dishes. :)

  7. Hmmm.. Lindsay, I had forgotten about your aversion to lasagna. I gues it is pretty traditional. It isn't sloppy, though, and some lasagna I have had is sloppy. If I remember, your dislike for lasagna is more about the ricotta cheese, is that right? You could always leave it out, you know!