Spinach Lasagne with Wild Boar Sausage, Olivada, Fresh Ricotta & Mozzarella, and Simple Tomato Sauce

by Laura on March 7, 2011

When my Dear Husband had surgery a few years ago, we saw a steady stream of homemade lasagne arrive, thoughtful visitor by thoughtful visitor, pan in outstretched arms.  It was a very touching parade, and we slowly and happily made our way through every last one.  What surprised me was the fact that so many chose to make lasagne.  Actually, I’ve found that many people who will tell you that they don’t cook, that they absolutely hate cooking, that they would never set foot in the kitchen again if they could, will in the same breath tell you about their lasagne.  And lasagne is a pain in the keister.  (Well, it is.)  Wrestling with boiling noodles, trying to wrangle them and pat them dry without them tearing or sticking to themselves, well, it’s not a picnic, not to mention the fact that after making a traditional lasagne my kitchen usually looks like a call to home services might be in order.  Nevertheless, I am a hopeless lasagne experimenter.  My most infamous flop was egg pasta layered with a short rib ragu and béchamel.  I was sure it would be delicious when I pulled it, golden crusted, from the oven.  It was a doozy: way too much sauce, way too rich, way too much period.  My family asked me sheepishly if we would be suffering leftovers.  I spared them.  My Honey Girl would prefer that I stick to my tested-and-true recipe, but I like to play in the kitchen.  Beyond the obvious goal of increasingly delicious lasagne is my notion that lasagne really should be easier to make.  I think I’m at least one step closer with this recipe.  It sounds like a fancy recipe, but it’s one of the simplest ways I’ve come up with to assemble a pan without too much fuss and 86 pans to wash.  You don’t have to cook meat, just slice a little salami.  There’s a smear of flavor–could be olive paste or tapenade or pesto, something to add flavor without much work, or none if you buy ready-made.  You whiz up an ultra-simple tomato sauce in the same bowl you use for the olivada–or buy a red sauce you like.  Fresh cheeses add lovely flavor and richness.  And I cut sheets of fresh pasta to the size of my pan before dangling them whole and as needed in a pot of boiling water ever so briefly.  I assembled this in about 15 minutes.  How do you like them apples, Rachael Ray?


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kris Jacobson March 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

Wow. Looks absolutely delicious.

2 Laura March 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

Want to pop over for lunch? xo

3 Kris Jacobson March 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Wish I could!!

4 Mary March 9, 2011 at 11:16 am

My lasagne story: while working with Somali children in North Minneapolis. I decided to do something with food and wanted to help the kids explore their culture. I asked them to share recipes of traditional Somali foods. Well, they did not come up with much. One boy started describing ” it has meat, beef I think and sauce and cheese and fat noodles, can’t remember what it’s called”
“Lasagne?” I asked. “Yeah, lasagne” he said. Did you know it’s a native dish of Somalia?

5 Laura March 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Haha. That’s funny, Mary.

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