Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

This recipe makes enough lasagna for six hungry adults. It takes about an hour and a half to prep and get into the oven, and then another 40 minutes or so to bake, but it is worth it! Although I make this with a vegetarian sausage, any Italian sausage will do.

Serve with a round of French bread and a fresh garden salad for a complete meal. The mushrooms and sausage in this dish pair well with a bold red wine such as a central California coast Syrah.

Ingredients:
4 sausages (remove casing)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 pound cremini mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
2 cups white onion (chopped fine)
3 large garlic cloves (minced)
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 red bell peppers (sliced thin)
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes (drained)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
7 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms
1½ cups hot water
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
3 cups whole milk
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 9-ounce package Barilla Oven Ready Lasagna Sheets
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese (grated)
6 ounces Parmesan cheese (finely grated)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Red Pepper Sauce Directions:
In a large skillet,  brown the sausage slices over medium-high heat. Be sure to brown both sides of sausage slices. Transfer sausage to a bowl and set aside.

Using the same large skillet, add one tablespoon oil, cremini mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook mushrooms over moderate heat until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and add to the sausage mixture.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the onions with the garlic, rosemary, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are soft. Stir in peppers and tomatoes and cook over moderately low heat, occasionally stirring, until peppers are very soft, about 20 minutes. Set sauce aside.

Purée pepper sauce. Transfer sauce to a large saucepan and stir in balsamic vinegar. Add sausage to sauce and simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Porcini Mushroom Directions:
In a heavy saucepan melt butter over medium heat, whisk flour into the butter and cook for two to three minutes. Add milk, whisk, and bring to a boil. Stir in porcini, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer over low heat, occasionally whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Assembly:
Add mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to a small bowl and stir to blend. Set aside.

Spread enough pepper sauce in the prepared baking dish to coat the bottom. Add three lasagna sheets to cover the sauce, a third of the porcini mushroom mixture, a third of the cheese, and a third of the remaining pepper sauce. Repeat twice, reversing the order of pepper sauce and cheese at the end (so that cheese is on top).

Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five to ten minutes before serving.

About Valley Vegetarian

The fresh chef providing consistently good vegetarian comfort food recipes.
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