I am having way too many people over tomorrow for what we have coined “ Birthaversary Day” which pretty much involves 3 birthdays, 1 anniversary, and Mother’s Day. My solution to feeding all of these people is lasagna. My sister and I made this one up a few months ago. You can make it in advance or the day of although it is a tad on the time consuming side. Serve this with some garlic bread and salad and voila, you have yourself a very nice dinner party!
Lasagna with Sausage, Spinach, and Bechamel Sauce
shopping list highlighted in bold
16oz of frozen spinach
Take the spinach out of it’s package and thaw it in a strainer and some water. When it is thawed, dry on paper towels and set aside.
Ingredients for Meat Sauce:
¼ cup of olive oil
4 TBSP of butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ lbs of hot Italian sausage with skins removed
¼ lb of pancetta ( optional )
½ cup of milk
16 oz of canned whole peeled tomatoes with juices
1 cup of dry vermouth
Salt and pepper
In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and sweat until translucent.
Add sausage and pancetta to the veggies and brown on high heat for about 15 min. Keep stirring and separating the meat while you are browning it.
Add milk and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid is almost dry.
Add the tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 15 min.
Add the vermouth and bring to a boil on low heat. Simmer sauce uncovered for 45 minutes. If the sauce gets dry, add a little bit of water.
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for Bechamel Sauce:
5 TBSP of butter
4 TBSP of flour
3 cups of milk
2 tsp salt
In a medium saucepan heat butter until melted.
Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook until light golden brown, about 6 min.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate saucepan until just about boiling.
Add the milk to the milk to the butter a little bit at a time stirring constantly. Bring the whole mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 min. Remove from the stove and season with salt and pepper.
Lasagna Layering Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F
Grate 8 oz of Parmigiano- Reggiano
In a baking dish assemble the lasagna in this order:
Lasagna Noodles ( I use the no bake kind )
Repeat until you are ready for the top layer.
The top layer is pasta and béchamel sauce and cheese.
Bake in the oven until the top is browning and the noodles are soft about 45 min.