Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pizza Lasagna

A twist on regular old lasagna and a hit with the kids.

12 lasagna noodles*
Amounts are to your preference, just dont go overboard or it wont hold together well
Italian Sausage, crumbled and cooked
Red and Green Bell Peppers
or any other "pizza" toppings that you enjoy

3 cups pizza sauce, homemade or jarred**(more or less for your "sauciness" preference
1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 TB parsley
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

* no need to cook the noodles first(and not just "no-boil" ones either)! Just dip them in hot water before layering and pour about 1/3 cup water around the edges before putting in the oven, and again in the middle of the cook time if the edges look dry.

Combine ricotta, egg, parsley, oregano salt and pepper, mix well and set aside.....(I actually added a handful of baby spinach and blended it all up in my food processor for an extra hidden nutritional boost)

Mix tomatoes into pizza sauce, simmer for 20 minutes.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan place a scoop of pizza sauce, spread to cover the bottom. Layer 4 lasagna  noodles, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1/2 the toppings, 1/3 the mozzarella cheese and a 1/3 the remaining sauce.
Repeat layers ending with the last of the sauce and mozzarella and top with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with a piece of foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, uncover and bake 15 minutes more until golden brown and bubbly.
Allow to stand for 15 minutes for easier slicing.

Pizza Sauce:
3 1/2 cups tomato sauce(2-15oz cans)
1 TB dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
dash of onion powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 TB sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat the sauce until it starts to bubble, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered for 30 to 60 minutes, until it reaches the thickness you desire. Remove and discard bayleaf

This freezes beautifully. To freeze before cooking you should pre-boil the noodles though. To freeze after cooking, just cool completely, slice and wrap well.
defrost overnight.

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