Cooking On A Budget: Out of the Park Lasagna - a Home Run Hit

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out of the Park Lasagna - a Home Run Hit

This is one of the first recipes I put up on this blog. If you visit, you will see the progression from this format to the format I currently use.

The edges are crispy, which I don't mind at all - but this right here is the most flavorful lasagna I have ever made! We had this for dinner last night along with a salad and it was a big hit with my family.  It started out with homemade sauce.  Using the canned sauce we made from summer tomatoes from our garden I made a spaghetti sauce.  The sausage was garlic and cheese that was store made at our local market.
I precooked the sausage whole in a frying pan to sear the outside. They were cooked about 1/4 of the way done, then were sliced into pieces.  The lasagna noodles I cooked four at a time in boiling, salted water for about 3-4 minutes and laid them on a foil lined cookie sheet until I was ready to assemble the lasagna.  For the ricotta cheese mixture I blended in 1-2 ounces of cream cheese with about 7 ounces of ricotta in a food processor to give the mixture a creamy texture. Transferred this mixture to a bowl and mixed in my dried spices consisting of 2 tbsp. parsley, 1 tbsp. granulated garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. basil and 1 tsp. oregano and 1/4 tsp. black pepper and 1/8 tsp. table salt.

Next I layered this 8 x 8 casserole with sauce on the bottom, noodle, ricotta mixture, sausage and sauce and did that for every layer.   The top layer I added in pizza cheese, then the sausage then the sauce.  Covered and baked the lasagna at 350 degrees for the first half hour then turned the heat down to 325 degrees and continue to cook it for another hour or so.  Removed the foil and added mozzarella cheese on top until it was melted.

The combination of all of the flavors made this the BEST lasagna I have ever made.  The noodles and sausage cooked perfectly.  The whole dish was packed with taste from the garlic and cheese sausage, the ricotta mixture which was so creamy and yummy and of course, the homemade sauce.
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