As every Southern woman knows, a casserole can cure everything from a cold to a broken heart. It’s one of my favorite roles at church, being part of the Casserole Brigade. This lasagna recipe (or a version similar) makes a frequent appearance because it is easy to assemble and deliver, and then your friend can bake it whenever they are ready for supper.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 jar of fancy tomato sauce — I used Gina Rispoli Arrabiata Sauce
1 28oz can of organic diced tomatoes
2 Mild Italian Chicken Sausages
Barilla No-Boil Lasagna Noodles
1 zucchini sliced into thin discs
15oz part-skim ricotta
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
How I Made It
Prepare a deep baking dish with a quick spray of olive oil.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic together until tender. Squeeze the sausage from the casing into the skillet, then break it up with a spoon so that there are no big pieces. Brown the sausage with the peppers and onions, stirring frequently so that the vegetables don’t burn.
When the sausage is cooked through, add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cover and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Combine the ricotta and parmesan together in a bowl.
To assemble the lasagna, start by putting a little sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay the lasagna noodles side by side in the bottom. Spread a layer of ricotta — not too thin and not too thick — over the noodles. Top with sauce and shredded mozzarella. Add another layer of noodles, then ricotta, then the zucchini slices. Top with sauce and shredded mozzarella. Continue with these layers until you reach the top of the baking dish.
You can freeze or refrigerate the lasagna until you are ready to deliver or bake it. With these no bake noodles, a little time to settle and soak up the sauce is a good thing. Also, make sure there is plenty of sauce in your layers, so that there is enough moisture to cook the noodles as it bakes.
When ready, bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. I start out with it covered with foil, but uncover it for the last 5-8 minutes so the cheese on top gets brown and bubbly.