Italian Sausage And Beef Lasagna

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Dearest Jess,

I am sick of always saying ‘What a busy time!’ I feel like such a wussy wimp! Oh well. Things have been busy, but my school  pictures job has tapered off and I am able to breathe as I contemplate what is to come next. I am getting caught up with housework and cooking. Laundry is finally manageable, and my kitchen has been thoroughly disinfected and wiped down. Hurrah!

This is the second time I have made this recipe. It’s from Eat Shrink and be Merry, makes your house smell amazing, and is delicious! I recommend this to anyone!

From Eat Shrink and be Merry, Page 137

8oz (227g) light mild Italian Sausage
8oz (227g) extra-lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
2tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar (22oz/700ml) tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained, cut up
1/3 cup chopped fresh kuman leaves (I used Thyme this time)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups light ricotta cheese (16oz/454g)
1 pkg (10oz/280g) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped (I used fresh spinach)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 cups packed shredded light mozzarella cheese (6oz/170g)

1. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. To make sauce, spray a large, non-stick pot or deep, non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Remove casing from sausage and break into small pieces in skillet. Add ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook an stir over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 1 more minutes. Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, basil, vinegar, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. While sauce is simmering, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Refrigerate until ready to use.

5. To assemble lasagna, spread 1 cup meat sauce over bottom of baking dish. Top with 4 lasagna noodles, cutting pieces to fit if necessary. Spread 1/3 remaining sauce over noodles, followed by 1/3 mozzarella. Top with 4 more noodles, 1/3 sauce, all of the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 mozzarella. For top layer: 4 noodles, 1/3 sauce, 1/3 mozzarella.

6. Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let lasagna stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes before serving.

I love you and miss you, as always. I am thrilled to hear that you two are able to settle down a little bit. I can’t wait to come and see what you’ve done to your house and have nice long visit!



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