Lately, thanks to a hectic release schedule at work, I’ve had less will to browse the Internet for recipes that I might be interested in trying. We had to head to the jeweler yesterday morning to drop off my wedding ring for its regular maintenance, and I really didn’t want to have to leave the apartment again today to run even more errands. I just felt lazy.

I suggested to my husband that we drop off my wedding ring, stop by the SPCA annex that is conveniently located across the walkway from the jeweler to gawk at all of the kitties they tend to have, and then head to Wegmans for lunch and groceries. We quickly decided on this week’s menu, jotted down a quick list of items, and then headed out.

It made for a long day, and I was unable to convince my husband that we should adopt another cat (or two, or three, or all of them) at the SPCA annex, but at least I got to look at some cats while I was out. I’ve had a back injury for years now that has made it difficult to run errands for a longer period of time, so I was really kind of pushing it with this extended errand run, but it beats having to go out and deal with my back twice. Plus, it meant that I got to get a healthy lunch that would fill me up, thanks to the salad bar there at Wegmans.

We’ve discovered since moving to New York that Wegmans carries this fairly tasty hot Italian-style poultry sausage. One of the things I had to miss out on for awhile thanks to a lower-calorie diet was hot Italian sausage. Hot Italian sausage is the only type of sausage I can typically stand! (Sage and I are not friends.) So when we found this sausage, I’ve been finding almost any excuse to catch up on lost time. This week, I felt like lasagna, so it felt natural to make a spicy sausage lasagna.

We found a nice part-skim mozzarella in the dairy section, and we’ve had the fat-free ricotta in our fridge for a few weeks, when we’d planned to make veggie lasagna rolls that we never really followed through on. At home, we had some pasta sauce to use before the end of the month and some diced tomatoes that we tend to have around, anyway. The lasagna noodles had somehow made the journey from California intact, so that rounded out our fairly basic lasagna.

My husband and I didn’t get to bed until after 4 in the morning, so we woke up fairly late. After a late lunch, I took some time to rest my back. I’ve been meaning to update my hair color for awhile, so I mixed up a batch to lighten the shade of blonde that my hair naturally is and saturated my hair before putting on a processing cap and heading out to the kitchen.

The sauce came together while my hair was processing, and I had just enough time to sink the noodles into the water before scurrying back to the bathroom, asking my husband to please pull the noodles off after they were done. I hopped in the shower to rinse out the dye, took a quick shower while I was in there, then towel dried my hair and pulled some clothes on before going back out to the kitchen. The shower had given the noodles time to cool enough to be able to handle them, so I quickly assembled the lasagna and popped it into the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Satisfied that dinner was on its way, I went back to the bedroom to rest my back.

The lasagna turned out GREAT. It came out hot and bubbly, with a nice brown crust on top. After allowing it a half an hour to cool so that we wouldn’t burn the roofs of our mouths, my husband cut it into portions and served us each a piece. Delicious, comforting, with the right amount of spice. Lots of tomato flavor. And of course, plenty of stringy, gooey cheese.

Perfect end to our weekend, with enough lasagna to last us a couple more nights. Get the recipe (including nutrition information) after the jump!

Hot Poultry Sausage Lasagna

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Calories per serving: 376

Fat per serving: 16.4g

Saturated fat per serving: 6.4g

Carbs per serving: 27.3g

Protein per serving: 31.5g

Fiber per serving: 3.6g

Sugar per serving: 3.2g

Sodium per serving: 845mg

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2.5 pounds hot Italian-style poultry sausage
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive or canola oil (if necessary -- a nice non-stick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet won't require oil)
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 24 ounces jarred pasta sauce (macros take Classico's spinach and parmesan into account)
  • 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 12 sheets whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 3 ounces fresh kale leaves, chopped
  • 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large, deep skillet (I used our largest cast-iron skillet), brown the sausage over medium to medium-high heat, using canola or olive oil to keep the sausage from sticking if you need it. Break up the sausage as it cooks until the chunks are the size you like. When the sausage is mostly cooked through and browned, add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté over until mushrooms are cooked through.
  3. If you are using traditional lasagna noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil as the sausage and mushroom mixture cooks. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, then drain well before setting aside.
  4. Drain any excess liquid and oil that cooked out of the sausage and mushroom mixture before adding the Italian seasoning, pasta sauce, and diced tomatoes to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove the pan from heat.
  5. Assemble the lasagna. Spread a thin layer of the sauce at the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish. Add a single layer of lasagna noodles, then spread a thick layer of the sauce on top of the noodles. Add 0.5- to 1-tablespoon-sized drops of the ricotta on top of the sauce, then cover the entire layer with kale leaves. On top of the kale leaves, add a layer of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Continue to layer. The final layer should consist of noodles, a small amount of sauce, and the cheese.
  6. Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes, or until the lasagna is hot and bubbly and browned on the top.
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