sausage, spinach & artichoke lasagna

One of my favorite things to do is competitively use as many ingredients in my cabinets as possible. This lasagna is the epitome of that. The only thing that I had to buy was the ricotta. In hindsight, maybe not as much of a win that I now have to clean this pan... but still. I had slightly lower expectations for it given the assorted ingredients but it was really quite great. While I love lasagna, it often sits heavy after eating. There is no forgetting you just ate a bunch of pasta and cheese and sauce - but for some reason this is lighter. I didn't use as much sauce and maybe that helps.

A few quirks:

  • my last jar of store sauce expired in 2013 so I wasn't going to use that. Instead of using a combination of my homemade tomato paste and diced tomatoes. It was so good. The flavors were richer from the paste but with the texture and heft from the diced tomatoes.
  • only two types of cheese. I normally will do fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan. In this case, I cut out the parmesan and went with shredded mozzarella.

I would absolutely recommend this combo again and will probably make it myself but maybe with a slightly healthier meat option. But it was just what the doctor ordered, after a weekend of packing, a yoga class, and a Soulcycle class... a corner slice of lasagna is rather heavenly.

Some current moving takeaways?

  • the dish boxes I ordered from Amazon haven't come yet... and they were supposed to be delivered on Saturday. This is probably karma from complaining to Lowes about the quality of the boxes they sent me. I regret this now.
  • the "long-lasting" packing tape I bought seems to be not sticking to the boxes. I know this sounds like a joke but it's the truth. Eleanor keeps thinking that someone is in our apartment when it pops off. The sound is pretty creepy... but terribly enough, I am now used to it. Waiting for more packing tape from Amazon so I can re-tape all my existing boxes.
  • my last job got me more invested in "home decor". I loved picking out little touches for my apartment. But now I hate packing them. How am I supposed to securely wrap a ceramic white octopus?
  • I also regret all of my picture frames. I'm pretty confident that nobody who has a gallery wall has ever moved. Wrapping dishes was fun. Wrapping picture frames is not fun.
  • After reviewing my canned goods, nearly 50% of them were expired... and one of them had expired in 2012.
  • I used to store all my excess kitchen items on the top of the cabinets ... because I obviously needed all of them. But in packing them, I've discovered a super disgusting sticky film that covered all of them. Seriously, what is this film?

At this point, much of my kitchen is packed up and I'm just eating this lasagna, pretzels, and nutella. Here's how the recipe goes. Loosely of course because lasagna is not a place for precise measurements.
 (Step 1) Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add a little drizzle of olive oil and then the Italian sausage. As the sausage cooks, break up the larger pieces into smaller ones. The smaller the pieces the better it'll spread evenly into the lasagna layers.

(Step 2) Add chopped onion and sauté until it softens. After it is to the texture you like, add in 2 tbsp of tomato paste and the roughly chopped artichoke. Mix it up nice. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the spinach. Cook until it wilts down. Then turn the heat off. 

(Step 3) Combine the ricotta, egg, and a handful of chopped fresh basil. 

(Step 4) Assemble the lasagna. You essentially take turns with the following ingredients to make 3 layers. Since you are doing 3 layers, just break up ingredients accordingly... e.g. 1/3 each:
- pasta
- 2 tbsp tomato paste and 1/3 can of diced tomatoes
- ricotta
- sausage
- shredded mozzarella

(Step 5) Bake until bubbly and hot, about 40 minutes at 350F. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the lasagna will cut more easily.

Shopping List
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating the lasagna noodles
3 Italian sausages (1/2 lb), removed from the casing
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can artichokes, drained
2 cup spinach
8+ tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup fresh basil leaves
8 ounces no bake lasagna noodles (about 12-14 noodles)
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1 large egg
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

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