This recipe is giant in more ways than one. It makes twelve hefty servings and it is BIG on taste. (Cheesy, I know—no pun intended!)
I was originally planning to make this over the holidays when the family was here but, again, I had too much food preparation planned.
Instead I made this giant pan one weekend and froze enough for us to have at least four meals. (It freezes beautifully.)
Giant Tiered Lasagna
1 3/4 c. tomato juice
6 c. (3 pints) tomato sauce*
1/4 c. red wine
1/2 T. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 lb. pork sausage, crumbled, browned and drained
32 oz. part-skim ricotta
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
2 (8 oz. boxes) oven ready lasagna noodles
7 oz. Canadian bacon
5 oz. pepperoni
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1-2 c. baby spinach
6 c. Italian shredded cheese blend
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large sauce pan, combine the tomato juice, sauce, wine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and cooked pork sausage. Heat to a simmer and let simmer 10 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, combine ricotta, eggs, basil and oregano. Stir until smooth.
In a 12 x 16 inch roasting pan with deep sides, place a thin layer of meat sauce mixture (about 1 1/2 c.) and spread across the bottom of the pan. Cover with the uncooked pasta. Pieces should not overlap or touch side of pan. If needed, you can break the pieces in half, cross-wise.
Spread about 1 1/2 c. of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Layer the Canadian bacon on next. Top with a thin layer of sauce and about 1 cup of Italian cheese blend. Repeat this process with a layer of noodles, sauce, ricotta, pepperoni and cheese. Finally, repeat layer process with the mushrooms and spinach together. Your final top layer should be noodles, sauce and cheese.
(If needed, you can combine layers. If it looks like you are running out of sauce, add a bit of water or wine to what is remaining in the pan.)
Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes more or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-7 minutes before cutting into serving sizes.
Extra portions can be placed in sealable containers and frozen.
*I used home canned tomato sauce. You can substitute about 2 (28 oz.) cans of tomato sauce OR pureed San Marzano tomatoes, knowing that your lasagna just might be a bit saucier.
I made this the weekend we finally did not have any family around for a quiet dinner for just the two of us. I even lit candles. 🙂
The only thing I would do different next time is to add a bit more spinach to the top layer.