Our parents were coming over Sunday night for dinner and trick-or-treating with our girls. I wanted to make a pasta dish that could feed an army and have leftovers to send home with our parents. Lasagna it is! I recently made Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna for everybody and most of us really loved it. As you probably already know, my girls and husband don't like mushrooms, and my girls don't like spinach. I decided to try and sneak them in layered with a sausage and beef marinara sauce that they do like. Unfortunately, my husband walked in as I was layering the lasagna and saw all the mushrooms...oops! I ate the mushrooms he picked out of his lasagna and everybody else said they enjoyed their dinner very much.
I made some homemade Italian dinner rolls and a simple side salad. We were entirely too full to have dessert right after dinner. We took the girls trick-or-treating and then came home for some Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting that I made the night before.
Meat Sauce Ingredients:
1 T olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 - 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups water
2 T Italian seasoning
pinch red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
In a large sauce or stock pot, add olive oil, ground beef, and sausage. Use a potato masher to break up the meat. Cook over medium high heat until meat is browned. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add remaining ingredients (crushed tomatoes through bay leaves). Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Your meat sauce will be fairly thick after simmering. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves at the end.
1 bag baby spinach, washed, stems removed
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
8 oz baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
In a large saute pan, add the washed spinach and saute until wilted. Remove cooked spinach to a strainer and squeeze remaining water out. Set aside in a bowl.
In the same saute pan, add the olive oil, butter, and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are done. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Pour cooked mushrooms into a strainer to drain, then add to the cooked spinach. Set aside.
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 - 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 T Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients (except the extra 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella that will be used as the top layer) and stir well to combine. Set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook lasagna noodles in salted water with oil until al dente. Drain and lay out flat on a baking sheet.
Spray a lasagna casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. I wrote myself a layering list to make it easier.
1. Meat sauce
3. 1/3 ricotta mixture
4. 1/2 mushrooms/spinach
5. Meat sauce
7. 1/3 ricotta mixture
8. Remaining mushrooms/spinach
9. Meat sauce
11. Remaining ricotta mixture
12. Meat sauce
13. 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cover tightly with non-stick foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes until bubbly.
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