Like the rest of the Eastern seaboard, we were hit with a winter storm yesterday. I’m excited – it’s that beautiful fluffy sparkly kind of snow. With the winter we’ve had, I’m happy to have snow (not rain) and temperatures that are a little more moderate than -30 C (it’s a lovely -13 in Ottawa this morning), as it seems we’ve been seesawing back and forth between the two extremes this season. I’m grateful for this snow, and excited to dust off my cross country skis and head outside!
Watching the snow had me feeling nostalgic for my childhood, so that was the inspiration for last night’s dinner. A classic lasagna, spiced up with sausage and spinach. (If you’re interested in a much less classic lasagna, try this recipe I posted back in the Fall.)
2 hot and 2 mild Italian sausages (or use all hot or all mild if you prefer)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp honey
3 1/2 cups tomatoes (whichever type you prefer)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 package uncooked lasagna noodles (not the oven-ready kind)
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 bag spinach or other greens, chopped (you can also use frozen spinach)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Remove sausage from casings. In a large pan, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink.
2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley, basil, honey, tomatoes and tomato paste. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350. Cook and drain noodles until al dente as directed on package.
4. In a bowl, mix cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley, oregano, nutmeg, egg and spinach.
5. To assemble the lasagna, spread about a cup of the sauce mixture in a glass baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread half of the cheese mixture over noodles, then a cup of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat with a layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, a cup of sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Top with more noodles and the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.
6. Cover with foil. If your lasagna is close to the top of your baking dish, insert toothpicks into the lasagna to hold up the foil so it doesn’t stick to the cheese. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings. Adapted from Betty Crocker.