• Tommy Centola

Lasagna

Updated: Jan 4

I know that this is not a Creole or Cajun dish, but there has been a large Italian presence in New Orleans dating back to the 1880’s. Being born in an Italian family, there is actually a city named Centola in Italy, it is hard not having red sauce running thru my veins. So here is a version of one of my favorite Italian dishes, Lasagna.



1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage

1/2 cup finely chopped Onion

2 cloves Garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons Sugar

1 tablespoon Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons dried Basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon Fennel seed

1/4 teaspoon Pepper

1/4 cup chopped Parsley

4 cups canned Tomatoes (not drained) or 1 (2 lb. 3 oz.) can Italian style Tomatoes

2 (6 oz.) cans Tomato Paste

1 tablespoon Salt

12 curly Lasagna noodles

1 (15 oz.) container Ricotta cheese

1 Egg

1/2 teaspoon Salt

3/4 lb. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated 1 (3 oz.) jar grated Parmesan cheese (3/4 c.)

Remove sausage meat from outer casings; chop the meat. In 5 quart Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté sausage, beef, onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until well browned, 20 minutes. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, the basil, fennel, pepper and half the parsley; mix well. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2 cup water; mashing tomatoes with wooden spoon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until thick, 1 1/2 hours. In 8 quart kettle, bring 3 quarts of water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add lasagna, boil uncovered, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Dry lasagna on paper towels. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, parsley and salt; mix. In bottom of baking dish, spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce. Layer with six noodles, lengthwise and overlapping, to cover. Spread with 1/2 of ricotta mixture; top with 1/3 cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, starting with noodles and ending with sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Spread with remaining sauce, top with rest of cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover with oil. Bake 25 minutes, remove foil; bake, uncovered 25 minutes longer or until bubbly. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!!

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