When it comes to the holidays, I do a lot of baking and cooking...more so than usual. I know, it's hard to believe that I can actually spend more time in my kitchen than I normally do. The holiday season is my favorite time of the year to prepare foods that exude warmth and comfort. With holiday decor placed throughout my house and the tree lit, nothing is more comforting than sitting down to enjoy a warm meal with family and friends.
Nothing celebrates family and friends during the holiday season better than a homemade meal. And, in my opinion, sometimes there is nothing better than a homemade lasagne, fresh from the oven. With all of the noodles, sauce, cheese, and herbs, the smell of a lasagne baking in the oven definitely makes the mouth water and the first bite is always full of wholesome flavor.
As universally loved as lasagne may be, many home cooks believe lasagne to be beyond their culinary capabilities. My husband, who does not consider himself to be a home cook (he's the master griller in our house), is one of the skeptics. To prove this, when he came downstairs today and saw me preparing lasagne, he looked at me and asked, "You're making homemade lasagne?" I responded by saying, "Yes, I've done it before...tons of times. It's super easy." He had a questionable look on his face and said, "I always figured that making homemade lasagne was a huge long process that would take a long time to prepare."
Enter my determination to prove to him just how easy it was to prepare homemade lasagne. You know me, I'm all about simplifying life in the kitchen. I prepared Barilla lasagne noodles, as well as the sausage sauce and Ricotta cheese mixture. I began layering all of the ingredients and placed my baking dish in the oven. I looked at him and said, "Voila! All done! Now it just needs to bake for 30 minutes and it will be ready to eat." He gave me a shocked look and said, "That looked much easier than most of the dishes that you make. I can't believe how simple that was for you to prepare."
If you want to try your hand at making homemade lasagne (once you make it, you will fall in love at first bite), turn to Barilla for all of your lasagne needs. With two varieties of lasagne (Oven-Ready and traditional), along with eight delicious jarred sauces, Barilla makes this favorite dish easy to prepare. You can prepare a traditional lasagne recipe (like the recipe featured in this post) or discover other authentic Italian lasagne recipes developed by the Barilla team chefs. From classic Bolognese to a "white" lasagne with sausage and leeks, there's one for every palate and occasion.
This holiday season, why not make homemade lasagne and start a new tradition in your kitchen and household? It's the perfect holiday recipe...warm, comforting, and wholesome. With great ingredients like those from Barilla, you'll be sure to fall in love with making and serving homemade lasagne to your family and friends during the holidays.
I'm a huge fan of Barilla products...trust me, just peek into my pantry and you'll see shelves filled with all sorts of Barilla noodles. If you're a fan like me, be sure to visit their recipe page, follow @BarillaUS on Twitter, like Barilla on Facebook, and follow them on Pinterest. Also, be sure to mark your calendar for Wednesday, December 19 and join Mom It Forward, Barilla, and myself as we chat about holiday recipes during the #gno Twitter party from 9:00 - 10:00 p.m. EST!
Italian Sausage Lasagne
- 1 box of Barilla lasagne noodles
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 2 24-ounce jars of Barilla Tomato & Basil
- Dried basil (to taste)
- Dried parsley (to taste)
- Salt and Pepper (to tate)
- 15-ounce container of Ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a lasagne baking dish or a 9x13 baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt (this will help to season the noodles). Cook the lasagne noodles until firm to the bite (approximately 8 minutes). Drain the noodles.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir in the Italian sausage. Cook and stir the Italian sausage until it is crumbled and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease.
- Pour two jars of Barilla Tomato & Basil sauce into the large skillet. Add the Italian sausage into the sauce. Season the sauce with basil, parsley, salt, and pepper (to taste). Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to awaken and combine.
- Mix together 15 ounces of Ricotta cheese, 1 egg, and 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce into the prepared baking dish and cover the entire bottom of the pan. Place 4-5 lasagne noodles on top of the tomato sauce (be sure to overlap the pieces). Top the noodles with the Ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle the Ricotta cheese mixture with 1/4 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of dried basil over the Ricotta cheese mixture.
- Repeat layering with remaining ingredients (tomato sauce, lasagne noodles, Ricotta cheese mixture, Mozzarella, dried basil). End the layering process with the tomato sauce mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to allow the cheese to brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for five minutes before serving.
What is your favorite lasagne recipe?