There are many ways to show our husbands that we love them. They each feel loved and appreciated differently. Pray this week for God to open your eyes to a specific way to honor your man.
When I want to show appreciation to my husband, I make one of his favorite meals: my homemade lasagna. Periodically, I even surprise him with a date night at home. I feed our kids early and then send them to another room to have a movie night while my husband and I enjoy his special meal together without (too many) interruptions.
Making lasagna is labor-intensive, but definitely worth the work when I see my husband’s smiling face. This recipe freezes well, so make extra for later too.
By: Brandi Carson
16-20 ounces ground sweet Italian Sausage
32 ounces ricotta cheese
5 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
32 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
16-ounce box lasagna noodles, cooked as directed
2 28-ounce cans of tomato sauce
4 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 large or 2 small onions, finely diced
3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 ounces fresh basil leaves, de-stemmed and
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed
Tools to make things easier:
- Large piping bag or heavy gallon zipper bag to pipe ricotta cheese on the lasagna
- Small, angled frosting spatula or backside of a spoon to spread ricotta over noodles
- Simmer sauce for a 2-3 hours so the flavors meld together. Preheat a large pot on medium heat and add garlic. Sauté for a few seconds until aromatic.
- Add carrots and onion. Stir well to combine. At this point, you can turn the heat up a little to medium or medium-high. Sauté until tender and soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and stir. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add freshly sliced basil and salt and pepper to taste.
- For chunky sauce, let it simmer for an hour. For smooth sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Simmer for at least an hour on medium-low heat. Let cool slightly before assembling the lasagna.
- While the sauce is simmering, boil water to cook noodles. Add a few generous tablespoons of olive oil and salt to water. Lay cooked noodles out flat, spraying them with cooking oil to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Sauté the Italian sausage and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add ricotta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put mixture in a large piping bag or heavy gallon zipper bag to easily pipe onto noodles.
- In a large bowl, mix mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses together.
- Spray a 9×13” pan.
- For assembly, have the noodles, sauce, ricotta mixture, cheese mixture, and cooked Italian sausage ready to assemble in the pan.
a. Spread a spoonful of sauce in the pan, covering the bottom. Add three rows of lasagna noodles.
b. Pipe a row of ricotta mixture the length of each lasagna noodle. Use the back of a spoon or a small angled spatula to spread the ricotta out evenly over the noodles.
c. Sprinkle about 1 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan mixture over the ricotta.
d. Sprinkle about 1⁄2 cup of the sausage over the cheese.
e. Spoon sauce over all the ingredients, making sure to cover the noodles completely so they don’t dry out. Repeat until your pan is full.
f. The last layer should consist of noodles topped with a generous amount of sauce and the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese mixture.
- Cut foil to fit pan, and spray the inside of the foil with oil to keep it from sticking to the cheese before covering the lasagna.
- Bake for 45 minutes covered, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered until browned and bubbly.
- Remove and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the lasagna to firm up before serving.