Recipe: Lasagna Rustica

It’s been a few years and Teresa Guidice’s Fabulicious! Fast & Fit cookbook is still in heavy rotation in my kitchen. My lasagna was pretty similar to her’s to begin with, but I love her lasagna sauce.

This recipe is a combo of both our recipes (but the lasagna sauce is all hers).

Lasagna Rustica

Ingredients

Lasagna Sauce

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 28-ounce can of Italian plum tomatoes with their juices, chopped

24 ounces of tomato sauce

2 tsp dried oregano

Lasagna

1 lb sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed

30 ounces of thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

16 sheets of lasagna noodles

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, heat the sausage in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir often and break the meat up into little pieces. Cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. (If I buy my sausage pre-cooked and am just reheating in this step, I will throw it in the blender to chop it up before I cook it. It really cuts the time down.)
  5. Boil the lasagna noodles.
  6. Mix the spinach, ricotta, and egg in a bowl.
  7. Add the salt and pepper to the spinach mixture.
  8. Spread 1 cup of the lasagna sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
  9. Drain the noodles and layer 4 slightly overlapping noodles on top of the sauce.
  10. Top the noodles with 1/3 of the spinach mixture, half of the sausage, 1 cup of mozzarella, and 1 cup of sauce.
  11. Top the lasagna with 4 more sheets of pasta, 1/3 of the spinach mixture, and 1 1/2 cups of sauce.
  12. The next layer will have 4 more sheets of pasta, topped with the last of the spinach mixture, the rest of the sausage, and 1 cup of sauce.
  13. The last layer will have 4 more sheets of pasta, the last of the sauce, and the last of the mozzarella.
  14. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese.
  15. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until bubbling (50-60 minutes).
  16. Uncover and cook 5-10 minutes more, until the cheese is completely melted.
  17. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
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