Main Meals

 

 

Sausage, Cheese and Basil Lasagna 

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Description:
This recipes has three cheese: part-skim ricotta cheese, grated mozzarella cheese
and grated Parmesan cheese. I like to add in baby spinach and finely chopped Kale into these types of recipes to add more favour and nutrition.


Ingredients:
Ingredients

Sauce:

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 lb. spicy Italian sausages, casings removed

1 C. chopped onion

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. dried crushed red pepper

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, liquid reserved


Filling:

1 ½ C. (packed) fresh basil leaves

1 15 oz. container plus 1 C. part-skim ricotta cheese

1 ½ C. (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz.)

¾ C. grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz.)

1 large egg

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

12 no-boil lasagna noodles from 1 8 oz. package

3 C. (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 12 oz.)

1 C. grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 oz.)

Nonstick olive oil spray


Directions:
Method

To make sauce, heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausages, onion, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper and sauté until sausage is cooked through, mashing sausage into small pieces with back of fork, about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with juices.

Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper.

To make filling, using on/off turns, chop fresh basil leaves finely in processor. Add ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Using on/off turns, process filling until just blended and texture is still chunky.

To assemble, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1 ¼ C. sauce in 13x9x2-inch glass Baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles on sauce. Drop 1 ½ C. filling over noodles, then spread evenly to cover.

Sprinkle with ¾ C. Mozzarella cheese and ¼ C. Parmesan cheese.

Repeat layering of sauce, noodles, filling and cheeses 2 more times.

Top with remaining 3 noodles. Spoon remaining sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Spray large piece of foil with nonstick olive oil spray.

Cover lasagna with foil, sprayed side down.

Bake lasagna 40 minutes. Carefully uncover. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until noodles are tender, sauce bubbles thickly and edges of lasagna are golden and puffed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to work surface; let stand 15 minutes before serving.


Category: Main Meals


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Wellness Tip
Juice Serving
Did you know that a serving of juice is just 4-6 ounces? This amount of 100% fruit juice is generally equivalent to a piece of fresh fruit. While juices are high in vitamins and minerals, large portions contribute a lot of calories to your diet. Most people need 2-5 servings of fruit and/or 100% juice per day. Drink water, not juice, to quench your thirst. Eating whole pieces of fruit adds additional fiber to your diet.


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Recipe
Fresh Cherry Crisp
Category: Desserts
Description: What says summer more than cherries?
A fruit crisp offers the luscious flavor of a fresh fruit pie without the fuss of making a crust. Celebrate the arrival of cherries with this rich-tasting crisp. The nut-studded topping works great with other fruit combinations too.
This is a delicious cherry crisp made with fresh cherries instead of canned. It may take a little longer to make because you need to pit the cherries, but it is well worth it when you taste the finished product.

The nutritional benefits of cherries are pretty big, particularly when you consider their small size. Many of the health benefits of cherries are related to the natural chemical that gives them their color.

Anthocyanins give flowers, berries and other fruits the colors ranging from red to blue. Some of the best food sources of anthocyanins are red grapes, chokeberry, eggplant and, of course, cherries.
These pigments attract pollinators, act as a “sunscreen” and protect the plant from radicals formed by UV light, so they act as antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits are transferred to people when the fruits or vegetables are eaten.

Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. They inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes, as do over the counter and prescription pain relievers. Natural anti-inflammatories are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. But, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries contain melatonin, another natural pain reliever and COX-2 inhibitor. Melatonin also helps to regulate sleep cycles and has been sold as a natural sleep aid. Reduced levels of melatonin have been associated with heart disease and increased cancer rates in night workers. The human body naturally produces melatonin, but primarily in darkness.
Constant artificial lighting present in most homes and work places reduces the amount of melatonin that the body produces. So, one of the health benefits of cherries to modern day man has to do with replacing some of the melatonin that has been lost to artificial light, unhealthy work schedules and unnatural sleep patterns. And, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries, like most fruits, contain vitamin C. The proven and suspected health benefits of cherries and other vitamin C rich foods are too numerous to be covered in this recipe.
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