Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lasagna with Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

by Barefoot Contessa


LASAGNA
INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 med. yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs.sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lob. lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta cheese
3-4 oz. creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


DIRECTIONS:
Heat the olive oil in a large (10-12") skillet.  Add the  onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 


Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tbsps. of the parsley, the basi, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer, uncovered, oover medium low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.


Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water.  Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.







In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tbsps. of parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Set aside.




Ladle 1/3 of the sauce in a 9 x 13" rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. 




 Then add the layers as follows:  half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta and one third of the sauce.  Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta and finally, sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. 




Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.




TOMATO, MOZZARELLA & BASIL SALAD

INGREDIENTS:
6 small tomatoes (4 medium)
1 lb. fresh mozzarella
10 to 15 basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly gr. black pepper


Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange the basil leaves on a large platter.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.









This was a beautiful sunny Spring day, a bit on the chilly side but not enough to complain about.  Perfect day to be in the kitchen cooking it up.  Had a great time with family, we were joined today with Amy (and Henry our grand-dog), Elise and Grandma including Don and I.  Don LOOOOOOVED the lasagna.  Remarked how non-smushy the noodles were and the flavor of the sauce was just right.  Don is very easy to please for the most part and has always been a big fan of Lasagna but then who isn't.

I followed the Lasagna recipe almost exactly but realized later that I completely forgot the egg.....oh well.  Also thought that the sauce was a little too thick and there wasn't enough so I went ahead and added a small jar of Prego (shhhh!  please don't tell Ina).  When all was said and done, I thought it was too cheesy but other than that everything was great.  The salad, the Mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves and tomatoes was different but a nice compliment to the Lasagna.....picture perfect too. Elise helped out with the salad saving me  some steps in the kitchen.  I also served some hot Buttered Rosemary dinner rolls (see recipe in February).  For dessert we had some Buttermilk White Chocolate Chip Scones without the craisins (find recipe in January) served with some delicious hot coffee.  Soooo thankful and blessed to spend time with family.  Food + family = priceless....isavortheweekend

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