Turns out, only slightly.
This was also my first ever attempt at lasagna, and while I still have room for improvement, the flavors in tonight's meal were a HUGE success!
I'd pinned this a while ago and decided to give it a whirl tonight. I'm in love with all things caprese, and though this was a very hands-on dish and although I was worried about baking in the hot kitchen along with the lasagna, it was filling while not being too heavy. And the sauce...delicious!
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and Rachael Ray
*lasagna noodles (I used the no-bake kind because that's all Trader Joe's had!)
*about 3/4 pound hot Italian turkey sausage
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 minced garlic cloves
*3 tablespoons flour
*1 1/2 cups chicken broth
*1 1/2 cups milk
*salt and pepper
*a few dashes of nutmeg
*4 roma tomatoes, sliced
*about 6-8 basil leaves, chopped
*2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spray the sides and bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Cook the lasagna noodles, if necessary, according to the package directions.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Take the sausage out of the casing and brown. Remove to another plate and set aside. Try not to eat it all.
In the same skillet, melt the butter, then add the garlic and cook until it starts smelling delicious (about 30 seconds). Sprinkle in the flour, then whisk it to combine. This will also last about 30 seconds.
Slllloooowwwly pour in the chicken broth, just a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk well in between each dose to make it nice and smooth. Continue until you've added all the broth. Pour in the milk, whisking again till it's smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and the nutmeg.
Stir the sauce until it gets thickened and bubbly. (WARNING: Tonight's dish turned out more liquidy than it should have, mainly because I was so paranoid about burning the sauce that I stuck to the time given--five minutes--rather than focusing on whether the sauce had actually thickened that much. Don't worry--if you're stirring regularly, you won't burn it, and let it go until it's thicker.)
There's nothing like a good bechamel! Am I right?
Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, and spread it around with the spatula to even it out. Place three of the lasagna noodles in the bottom.
The no-bake noodles look so silly!
Then top with about 1/3 of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the basil, 1/3 of the sausage, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Then, layer another three lasagna noodles, and load it all up again, for a total of three delectable layers.
Cover the baking dish with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. When time's up, remove the foil and bake for about 15 more minutes, or until the cheese has turned golden brown, the sauce is bubbling nicely, and you can barely restrain yourself from sticking your face directly into the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes before diving in.
It has been wonderful to have my college friend, my high school friend, and my in-laws all in Chicago in the last three weeks, but I'm ready to have a longer stretch of time at home just us. Well, until our anniversary vacation to Arizona!
I can't believe it's already been a year since we got married. Time certainly has flown....