Sun 29 Sep 2013
This lasagna from Martha Stewart Living takes a while to bake, but the results are well worth it. It’s also requires a simpler prep than most lasagna, because you just soak the noodles instead of boiling them. The noodles cook all the way through during the baking time. Using sausage also makes things easier, as there is no need to prepare a meat sauce. This dish takes about 40 minutes to assemble. Then you can pop it in the oven and relax for a couple of hours before dinner.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Make sure your dried spices do not contain colour or anti-caking ingredients. Many brands of sausage are now nitrite-free. Look for a brand of tomatoes, such as Unico, that are additive-free and buy cheese with no colour added.
12 dried lasagna noodles, uncooked
2 teaspoons (10 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ (7.5 ml) teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) red-pepper flakes
1 pound (454 g) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cans, 28 ounces (796 ml) each whole peeled tomatoes in puree
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 cups (1.5 L) shredded shredded mozzarella cheese
¾ cup (175 ml) shredded Parmesan cheese
Fill a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33 cm) baking dish two-thirds of the way with hot tap water. Add noodles, and arrange them in alternating directions to prevent sticking. Let soak while preparing sauce.
Make sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, and cook, stirring and breaking it up, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their puree, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon; bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. (You should have about 8 cups of sauce.) Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Drain noodles, transfer to a baking sheet; dry dish with paper towels. Spoon 1 cup (250 ml) sauce in bottom of dish. Fit 4 noodles in dish (crosswise if using short noodles, lengthwise if using long), overlapping slightly. Cover with 2 cups (500 ml) sauce, 2 cups (500 ml) mozzarella, and ¼ cup (60 ml) Parmesan. Repeat with another layer, then top with remaining noodles, 3 cups (750 ml) sauce, and the rest of mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake 1 hour.
Remove foil, and continue baking until bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 20 minutes. Cut and serve. Serves 8.
From Martha Stewart Living