Meaty Lasagna Bolognese
A comforting meaty 4-layer lasagna with layers of herb-garlic ricotta cheese, beefy Bolognese sauce, Italian sausage, wide lasagna noodles and Italian cheeses.
I’m trying another fresh attempt to get my kids to eat more home-cooked food (I have SUPER picky eaters!), so that means I need to make things that appeal to them. They both love lasagna, but not the kind that has layers and layers of veggies (like me). They like the traditional meaty lasagna. The idea of putting meat in the lasagna reminded me of the meaty Italian Bolognese sauce that they both love so much. I thought that would make a great lasagna … so I cooked up a batch of the sauce, then made it into a 4-layer lasagna. They are both quite happily eating it. My son, as usual, wants all the middle pieces. (He always takes the middle pieces of everything!)
The best thing about my Bolognese sauce is not only does it have meat, it’s also got veggies. Carrots, onions, garlic and tomatoes! What could be better? Oh, I suppose I could have make it even healthier by using whole wheat noodles, but I thought that might be a little over the top for my son. If you have eaters that aren’t quite so picky about veggies, I would very much encourage you to leave out a layer of noodles and slip some spinach in the cheese mixture or sprinkle some sauteed mushrooms or peppers or broccoli or other veggies of choice over each layer — or use thin-sliced zucchini or eggplant (roasted till tender) in place of some (or all) of the noodles. And yes, try it with whole wheat noodles if your eaters are up for it. Or just go for it just like this.
- 15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup freshly shredded Asiago cheese
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Pesto Trapanese (fresh tomato pesto-recipe here)
- 12 long lasagna noodles
- About 1 1/2 quarts bolognese sauce (recipe here)
- 1/2 lb. lean Italian sausage, cooked
- 3 - 4 cups shredded Italian blend of cheeses
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a 13x9x2 inch pan with cooking spray. Prepare a large pot of water boiling.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the cheese mixture ingredients. Set aside.
- Put the lasagna noodles in the boiling water and cook according to instructions on the package. When they are done, let the water drain out, then add cool water to cool them down.
- While the noodles are cooking, in a small frying pan over medium heat, cook up the Italian sausage, chopping into small bits as it cooks. Remove from heat onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and pat the top with the towel to soak up any excess fat.
- Spread about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the sauce onto the bottom of your lasagna pan. Spread 3 long noodles out over the bottom of the pan. Cut off any excess noodles that want to go up the sides, then top with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the sausage and about 3/4 - 1 cup of sauce. Top with about 1 cup of shredded cheese. Repeat this process two more times. Then add one more layer of noodles, topping with the last of the sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Uncover, top with 3/4 - 1 cup more shredded cheese, and bake for another 25 minutes.
- Let rest about 15 minutes before serving. This can also be refrigerated or frozen for future meals.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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