Wow, have I had a busy couple of weeks. First off, I accepted a job offer for the job that I have been interviewing for. Yay! Of course, this changed my hours at work, which I am still getting acclimated to. What is that famous quote: “Where there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Needless to say, I am embracing the growing pains.
On top of that, we had some old friends come to visit for a long weekend and we toured them all around these parts, trying to give them a nice weekend. As hosts, we like to mix in a lot of quick local adventures, bouncing from here to there, ending it all with relaxing evenings sitting around our table with a few drinks discussing the days events and making plans for the future.
In order, to have that happen without too much of a hassle, I like to make a casserole the day of the arrival of my guests. That way, it will not take much to reheat the dish over the next few nights. This time I made a wonderful lasagna chocked full of Italian sausage and sliced up meatballs. To make it even a little more special, a day ahead, I made a double batch of homemade tomato sauce to use in the lasagna. It was delicious and the weekend went off without a hitch.
Sausage and Meatball Lasagna
1 (9 ounce) box of no-boil lasagna noodles
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 lb sausage, browned (I used 2 links of hot Italian and 2 links of sweet Italian, casings removed)
8-10 prepared meatballs, cut into 1/4 inch flat disks
A double recipe of Tomato sauce
2 TBSP Fresh Oregano and basil, minced
Preheat oven to 375. In bowl, combine beaten eggs, ricotta cheese and TWO cups of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Mix in the fresh oregano and basil. Set aside. In a 13X9 pan, spread 1 cup of sauce on bottom of pan.
Layer in the order, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles (they will overlap), then 1/2 part of the ricotta cheese mixture, half the meat, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce.
Next layer, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1/2 part of the ricotta cheese mixture, remained meat, and 1 1/2 Cups sauce.
For top layer, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan cheese.
Bake covered with foil for 50-60 minutes.
Uncover and continue cooking until all the cheese is melted on the top (about 5 minutes).
Let stand 15 minutes before serving.