Casa M Lasagna
This is a definite crowd pleaser. It's a mix of the classic Northern Italian lasagne (made with Bolognese and Bechamel sauces) and the Italian American version with cheeses. The former is more about the noodles melting into the richness of the two master sauces. The latter is more about the melted cheeses and comfort. The twist we introduce to the mix is taking the traditional Bechamel sauce to being a Mornay sauce. We also like the combo of fresh basil and Italian sausage, so we have 1 layer of that plus some ricotta to add a little depth of flavor in the bottom layer.
Anyone who has used an oven before has overflowed something in the oven before. It's almost second nature now to throw a baking sheet under anything I'm cooking in the oven just to catch any drips or overflow. This is no excception. While browning the sausage, break up the sausage into relativelty small pieces. You want this layer to be packed with flavors, but still somewhat thin. Fill in the gaps on this layer with ricotta cheese. Push the next layer of noodles down to compress the layer of sausage and ricotta. Let the cooked finished dish sit for 15 minutes to allow it to set before cutting it.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Bechamel Sauce:
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction®
For the Mornay Sauce:
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
For the Bolognese Sauce:
- 1-1/2 quart of Casa M Bolognese Sauce
Pulling It All Together:
- 2 pounds lasagne noodles
- 1 pound Italian sausage, browned and in bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces basil leaves
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- 2 ounces Gruyère cheese
It's almost second nature now to throw a baking sheet under anything I'm cooking in the oven just to catch any drips or overflow. This is no excception.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Boil the pasta noodles according to the cooking time on the package. You can stop 1-2 minutes short of the time on the front of the pasta as the noodles will continue to cook in the oven. When the pasta is cooked, drain it immediately, cool it quickly with cool water and some ice to help arrest the cooking process, then spray the noodles with non-stick spray to keep them from sticking together while you focus on other tasks..
Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a lasagna dish.
Make the bechamel sauce by adding the butter to a thick-bottomed sautée pan over medium heat and melting it. Add the flour and mix constantly. Cook for 5-10 minutes to cook the flour, then slowly add the milk little by little. When the milk is fully mixed in, add the Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction® and mix well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently. Add the cheeses to the pan and mix well and the Bechamel sauce becomes a Mornay sauce.
To assemble the pasta dish, start by spooning a thin, even layer of Bolognese sauce on the bottom of the greased lasagna dish. Add a layer of noodles to the dish. Top this layer with a thin, even layer of Mornay sauce, then lay basil leaves out over the whole layer of noodles, and top with the browned Italian sausage. Add a little ricotta cheese to "fill the gaps" between the sausage and fill up the layer, while keeping it thin.
Add a layer of noodles to the dish. Top this layer with a thin, even layer of Bolognese sauce, then a drizzled thin, even layer of Mornay sauce.
Repeat step five (5) until the dish is full. Depending on the depth of the lasagna pan and thickness of the lasagne noodles, you should have room for 4-10 layers like this.
Top the last layer of pasta with a thin, even layer of Mornay sauce and a sprinkle of the two grated cheeses.
Bake the lasagna until it's browned and bubbly on top. Depending on the thickness and pan type, and your oven, this could be 30-90 minutes. You'll get a better idea of how long after your first cook. Check the dish at 30 minutes, then every 15 minutes or so after that. If it looks like it is browning too quickly before the insides cook, throw a tent of aluminum foil over the top of the dish.
The finished dish should be bubbly all over, puffed up, and nicely golden brown on the top.
Let rest for 15 minutes after removing from the oven. Serve while hot. It refrigerates and freezes well.