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2 classic Italians in 1


Happy New Year, wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous 2010!

To start the year out on a yummy note, why not combine two Italian favorites? This is a quick and easy lasagna, with no boiling of noodles or making of a time-consuming homemade sauce.

Just purchase the various items for the layers and go to town assembling a big old pan of goodness. To change to a vegetarian dish, substitute diced or sliced zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and/or bell peppers for the sausage. Sauté the veggies in an additional tablespoon of olive oil and proceed as directed.

fresh nutmeg

When it comes to nutmeg, there is no comparison between freshly ground and the already ground stuff you’ll find in the spice aisle. Purchase the whole nutmegs and use any of the tools above to grind it fresh when you need it.

rav lasagna

Ravioli Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound ground Italian sausage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
28-ounce can crushed Roma tomatoes
1 cup prepared pesto sauce, divided
4 ounces fresh baby spinach, stack the leaves, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
1 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Two 16 to 18-ounce packages frozen cheese-filled ravioli (use frozen, do not thaw)
3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese

rav lasag fixings

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onion and sauté until soft, add garlic and cook about 4 minutes longer, transfer to a small plate.  Add the sausage to the same skillet and cook, stirring often to break up for about 12 minutes or until sausage is browned. Drain off any grease, then add the onion-garlic mixture back to the pan and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the pesto sauce.

sliced spinach

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the sliced spinach and the remaining 1/2 cup pesto sauce.

In a third medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese (reserve the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan for sprinkling on at the end), stir in the nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.

sauce in pan

In a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, spread 1/2 cup of the tomato-pesto sauce on the bottom and the pan and lightly coat the sides of the pan with the sauce as well, to prevent the lasagna from sticking after baking. Top with 1/2 of the sausage-onion mixture, then 1/2 of the spinach mixture.

Top with 1 package of the ravioli, laying out evenly in a single layer. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over ravioli, then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.

ravioli layer

Spread with 1/2 of the remaining tomato sauce, top with remaining sausage, then with remaining spinach.

Top with the second package of ravioli, dollop with remaining ricotta, and 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Spread on the rest of the sauce.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, discard foil and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and the reserved 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake another 12 minutes.

Serves 10 to 12

(Lasagna may be baked 1 day ahead up to point of adding the last layer of mozzarella and Parmesan. Cool completely, then chill, covered. Bring to room temperature before topping and reheating with the final layer of cheeses, in a 375 oven until hot, 20 to 30 minutes)

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1 Sharon { 01.01.10 at 2:45 PM }

This looks wonderful. I can’t wait to try it. Also, thanks for all those wonderful soup recipes. Happy New Year!

2 Linda Hopkins { 01.01.10 at 8:55 PM }

Happy New Year, Sharon. Kisses to the kids!

3 Sharon C { 08.25.14 at 9:30 PM }

Run, don’t walk to the store and buy these ingredients. I don’t even like sausage that much and I love this meal.

4 Amy Kilpatrick { 08.27.14 at 12:45 PM }

Happy 5th Blogaversary! Okay, this is one of our favorite recipes at our home! It is super easy and love using the cheese raviolis instead of working with those dumb lasagna noodles. Yummy!

5 Linda Hopkins { 08.27.14 at 2:04 PM }

Amy, making this tonight for Bunco!

6 Nancy Bull { 08.28.14 at 10:19 AM }

This may be a silly question but do you thaw out the ravioli before assembley? This looks delicious!

7 Karen P. { 08.28.14 at 10:21 AM }

This looks wonderful! Do you use the ravioli frozen or do you cook it ahead?

8 Linda Hopkins { 08.28.14 at 10:33 AM }

Karen and Nancy…. use it frozen, that’s the beauty of it!

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