YIELD: 12 servings
1 lb. lasagna sheets; frozen or no-boil
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 ½ cups onions, chopped fine
1 cup carrots, finely diced
6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 ½ cups fresh chopped tomato, de-seeded if possible
¼ cup basil, chopped or shredded
½ cup honey
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 qt. tomato sauce
12 oz. tomato paste
For meat and lentil filling:
2 oz. olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage, sweet, removed from casings
2 cups onion, small diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bell pepper, red or yellow, fresh and small diced
1 lb. lentils, thawed (if raw, cook 1 cup dry)
3 Tbsps. oregano, fresh, chopped
For cheese filling and topping:
1 lb. ricotta
1 cup Parmesan, finely grated
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 lb. mozzarella, grated
2 cups Parmesan, fresh grated
1. For sauce: Heat saucepan on medium-high heat with oil. Add onions and cook until transparent; add carrots and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes; add pepper flakes. Add tomato, basil and honey; stir well and bring to simmer. Add tomato products and cook for 15-20 minutes, add salt.
2. For meat and lentil filling: Heat large high-sided kettle on medium heat. Add oil and coat bottom of pan. Add sausage; cook until juices are clear. Drain fat and set cooked sausage aside. In pan, adding sausage fat if needed, add onions and garlic; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add peppers and mix well. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add lentil and oregano and mix well. Add sausage back in and mix well. Cool for 5-10 minutes before working with mixture.
3. To layer lasagna go in this order in deep-sided pan sprayed with nonstick spray: sauce, noodles, sauce, meat and lentil mix, part of cheese filling and grated cheese mix, noodles, sauce, meat and lentil mix, noodles, sauce, rest of cheese filling, grated cheese mix, fresh basil (after removed from oven).
4. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes at 300°F in convection oven or 350°F in standard oven. Pull cover to finish and for cheese to brown slightly. Sprinkle with fresh basil when finished and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe: USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council/Chef L.J. Klink