Sausage, Cheese and Basil Lasagna
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 lb. spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 C. chopped onion
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with added puree
- 1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, liquid reserved
- 1 1/2 C. (packed) fresh basil leaves
- 1 15 oz. container plus 1 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 C. (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz.)
- 3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz.)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles from 1 8 oz. package
- 3 C. (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 12 oz.)
- 1 C. grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 oz.)
- Nonstick olive oil spray
To make sauce, heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausages, onion, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper and sauté until sausage is cooked through, mashing sausage into small pieces with back of fork, about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with juices. Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper.
To make filling, using on/off turns, chop fresh basil leaves finely in processor. Add ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Using on/off turns, process filling until just blended and texture is still chunky.
To assemble, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1 1/4 C. sauce in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles on sauce. Drop 1 1/2 C. filling over noodles, then spread evenly to cover. Sprinkle with 3/4 C. Mozzarella cheese and 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering of sauce, noodles, filling and cheeses 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles. Spoon remaining sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Spray large piece of foil with nonstick olive oil spray. Cover lasagna with foil, sprayed side down.
Bake lasagna 40 minutes. Carefully uncover. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until noodles are tender, sauce bubbles thickly and edges of lasagna are golden and puffed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to work surface; let stand 15 minutes before serving.