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Whenever my brother-in-law John, comes to visit, it's become a tradition to have homemade lasagna waiting for him. John exits the plane, picks up his luggage, rides to our house and says, "Where's the lasagna?" And he eats half of the pan of lasagna right away. In his defense, he's been traveling all day long from Washington state, so he's a hungry guy. John could eat lasagna every day during his visit, so I make two big pans with his name on them. It's so much fun to cook for someone who appreciates it so much.
(Your Tuesday and Wednesday book club emails may have been late. Sorry about that. We had technical issues. [I hate it when that happens.] If you ever have a question about the delivery of your book club email, please let me know. Thanks for your understanding.)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes with Italian seasoning
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
9 uncooked lasagna noodles (the kind that requires no boiling before you bake them)
1 16 oz carton ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
8 oz can of tomato sauce (or more to taste)
Ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan
Cook and stir sausage, onion and garlic until sausage is brown; drain. Add stewed tomatoes, including the liquid, (break up the tomatoes a bit more with the spatula after you put them in the pan), add one can tomato sauce, sugar, and basil.
Heat to boiling, (stir as needed), and then turn heat down and simmer until the sauce thickens. This might take an hour.
Mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and oregano.
Now you're ready to assemble the lasagna.
Put 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay down three strips of lasagna noodles. You'll be repeating the following process 3 times, so your meat sauce, the leftover tomato sauce and your cheese mixture should be divided into thirds. (I don't actually divide up the ingredients, but I "eye" it when I'm adding the layers.)
Cover the lasagna noodles with the meat sauce, add the cheese mixture, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top it off with a layer of Mozzarella cheese and pour a little plain tomato sauce over the top.
Repeat this process another two times. Make sure the corners of the noodles are covered with sauce before you bake.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let the lasagna sit on top of the stove for 15 minutes before you cut into it.
Or, if you want to serve it later, refrigerate the lasagna and then bake it about 55 minutes--be sure to allow another 15 minutes so the lasagna can set after it's done cooking before you serve it. It keeps in the refrigerator all week long. It's great!
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
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