Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kale, Mushroom and Sausage Lasagna

Kale, Mushroom and Sausage Lasagna
Today I took Nate and Zachary to the allergist for updated testing. I was hoping and praying that Nate would have grown out of his tree nut allergy, unfortunately he didn't. Nate's biggest nut nemesis's are cashews and pistachios. If he ingests those nuts in particular he could go into anaphalectic shock requiring us to use the Epi-pen. Luckily, we've never had to use this on him, but it scares me to death to ever think about having to use this on him. To be on the safe side Nate avoids all tree nuts, but even so, it still worries me everyday. As part of the allergy testing the boys got poked, prodded and pinched several times which wasn't a fun experience. They both said they'd much rather be in school taking a math test rather than having an allergy test. One of Nate's worst fears is having a shot. He had to get 3 but poor Zachary had to get 9! Ouch! I felt bad for them so to make up for the agony they experienced  I took them to Chipotle for lunch and then decided to make them lasagna for dinner. They both agreed that their amazing steak and bean burrito from Chipotle and my epic lasagna made up for their pain and suffering! Mom badge earned today!

So Kale, Mushroom and Sausage Lasagna is what I made for my boys! Nothing says comfort like lasagna does. Lasagna is one of my family's all time favorite meals. Their favorite has to be my classic meat and cheese lasagna, click here for recipe, which has been passed down from my italian grandmother. What I love most about lasagna is it's versatility. You can add any any ingredient that's in season and it will taste fresh, delicious and comforting. Kale is in season right now so that's what inspired me to make this recipe. The layers of pasta, cheese, kale, mushrooms, sausage and tomato sauce compliment each other so well making this dish so satisfying and good. By far though, the kale was the highlight of this meal. I thought the flavor of the kale might get lost under the layers of other ingredients but it didn't. The kale really stood out giving the lasagna an extra punch of flavor. There are so many types of kale but the type I used was dinosaur kale. Otherwise known as lacinato kale or black kale which is often used in italian cooking. It's called dinosaur kale because the huge bumpy blackish leaves resemble dinosaur skin. Kale is known for having a bitter taste but surprisingly this type of kale has a sweeter taste. I sautéed the kale with olive oil and lots of fresh garlic. It was so delicious I could have eaten the whole pan of it. Tyler kept eating it and I had to tell him to stop eating it otherwise we wouldn't have enough for our lasagna. Note to self: make sure to extra dinosaur kale my CSA!

While the Kale, Mushroom and Sausage Lasagna was baking in the oven the delicious aromas filled our house and it smelled so good. I decided tonight was a night to eat in the dining room because the lasagna was looking so fancy and special. The boys love eating in the dining room because it reminds them of a special occasion. This was a special occasion….actually everyday is a special occasion in our house. Any meal shared together as a family is a special occasion in my opinion. To make it even extra special we had candles lit, music playing, wine, and even served the boys milk in crystal wine glasses. Our dinner together was perfect. The lasagna was perfect.

Salute to Kale, Mushroom and Sausage Lasagna….the perfect comfort food meal for my family and easing the pain of multiple allergy shots today!

It's called Dinosaur Kale because the leaves resemble dinosaur skin
Sauteing the kale with garlic and olive oil
Tyler couldn't get enough it was so delicious
Italian sausage, mushrooms and onions
Ricotta, fresh parsley, egg, parmesan cheese, mozzarella for the cheese mixture
To prevent the bottom layer from sticking add olive oil and tomato sauce to the casserole dish
Add the cheese and kale
Add the sausage, mushroom and tomato sauce and keep layering
Finished layering, now add foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes
After adding cheese to top bake 10 more minutes and it's done!
Our special family dinner
Zachary can't wait to take a bite!
Make it for your family and they will love you for it
Zachary and Nate getting allergy tested
Chipotle for lunch!
Kale, Mushroom and Sausage Lasagna

Serves 8

Preparation and cook time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1  pound box lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground italian sausage
  • 4 cups chopped kale (preferably dinosaur kale) 
  • 8 ozs sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 4 cups homemade tomato sauce or your favorite jarred sauce
  • 1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tb freshly chopped parsley/dried is fine
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan  cheese
  • 2 tb minced garlic
  • salt n pepper
  • olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a saute pan cook sausage and onion on medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the sausage/mushrooms are browned and cooked through, set aside. In a separate sauté pan add a little olive oil and minced garlic and add kale..cook for about 8 minutes until the kale is wilted, set aside. In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese, parsley, egg,  1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and salt n pepper and set aside.  Boil water in a large pot for lasagna noodles. Now ready to assemble and layer. Drizzle olive oil at the bottom of lasagna pan (should be at least 9 x 13) and some tomato sauce to coat. Dip 4 noodles in boiling water for 1 minute.  Place noodles on bottom of pan, then top with 1/2 of ricotta mixture, then kale, then sausage and mushrooms and then tomato sauce. Dip another 4 noodles in water for 1 minute and begin second layer of ingredients. Keep layering until you reach top of pan. Spread sauce on top of noodles coat. Cover/tent with foil. Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Take foil off. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese to lasagna and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese melts. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow cheese to set. Top with tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

* I'm not a fan of using uncooked lasagna noodles or fully cooked noodles. I dunk them for 1 minute in boiling water so they absorb the water and thus, cook evenly when baked.  I love the results this way.

Food Impressions:

Nate: "Love, love, love this mom. I'd say it's even better than Chipotle." 

Tyler: "The kale tastes pretty good in this. Even the mushrooms taste pretty good."

Zachary: "This is so awesome and super yummy. I won't mind getting shots again if you make this."

Dave: "I could have this over and over again. The kale has an amazing taste and flavor. I thought it would loose it's flavor after being cooked for so long. Delicious!" 

Andrea: I will definitely make this lasagna again. It was delicious and the whole family really enjoyed it. 




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