Who Doesn’t Love Lasagna?
What about Penne?
What if you couldn’t find gluten free lasagna noodles? Yes that’s what happened, three stores no lasagna noodles so we used our lasagna recipe to make penne. We had to make it, we told the kids they had to eat lasagna……………………..We would have been bad parents if we didn’t stand on our word. (and yes two of our kids detest lasagna)
Just so you know we started out with a recipe, we really did I promise, but when we get to cooking that all just flies out the window so I will give you the basics and you can go from there adding what you like and subtracting what you don’t like which is what we did.
First off, FRESH ingredients. Of course there is going to be some processed foods, especially since we didn’t get around to making our own pasta this time (we will leave that for another post). Here is a few of our fresh finds and yes we make a mess when we cook.
Here is the basic recipe:
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (or homemade)
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste (use homemade from your canning stash)
- 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce (use homemade from your canning stash)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 12 lasagna noodles (sub out any noodle)
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (see below for my favorite sea salt in this recipe)
- 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Anaheim peppers
- In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in all tomato products, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Place two Anaheim peppers (whole) into mixture. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook noodles in boiling water until Al Dente. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Add more cheese if needed, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
The sauce simmered longer than the time required and that was just fine. I think the longer it simmered the better it became. Tasting it with a dash more spice here and there was just amazing. When we finally got it perfect we started putting it all together.
See the seasoning on the noodles, this is where my husband likes to deviate recipes! He pours the spices on and wow is he good at spice combos! Once this was all put together nicely, into the oven it went. The smell was magnificent.
It may not have been the normal lasagna or the normal penne but what it was is absolute deliciousness.
My husband can never just make one dish, he has to make the full meal! Come to think of it he makes everything except dessert, I really have to work on him about that.
We also had a Greek salad to go before it, and cheesy garlic bread to go with it.
Dessert would have been nice, but I will be making my own here soon. Stay tuned for that.
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I can totally vouch for this recipe because I tried it first hand. It was so tasty! I’m ready for dessert too… are you going to share?
Sharing is not my strong quality but yes I will.