Italians, with their homemade pastas and all their secrets sauces, I feel like they have this patent on flavor the rest of can never achieve. Maybe that is why, until this weekend, I had never made lasagna. And...why when I finally did, I opted for a recipe that uses a cast-iron skilled and breakfast sausage.
I have a weakness for anything rolled and sleaved with a Jimmy Dean logo. Don't tell my cajun friends, the Savoies, but I use breakfast sausage when I cook jambalaya, too! Leave it to The Pioneer Woman (aka Ree; aka, P-Dubs) to draft a lasagna recipe country cooks (who live in the 'burbs) like I can prepare!
I'm the only P-Dubs you know, you say?? Well, make friends with the other P-Dubs (of blog, cookbook and Southern Living-feature fame). The only thing she doesn't have is the world's cutest basset hound.
My sous-chef, Chloe Diggers
She has the world's second cutest basset. Charlie. He's Chloe's boyfriend...only he just don't know it. [Before meeting Mr. W, Chloe's mom had a lot of boyfriends who were unaware of their role as her boyfriend, so this puppy love is not at all unhealthy]
photo credit: www.thepioneerwoman.comBut back to the lasagna....
The secret to this remarkable lasagna, I think, is indeed the sausage. Yes, all the basil, garlic and tomatoes leave no doubt that this is an Italian-ish dish but the sausage gives it a distinctive flavor that is no short of fantastic. Rarely do I pat myself on the back for something I made....
but I'll just be candid - it was REEdiculous. I ooh, I ahhed....I went back for seconds! It may very well be the best lasanga I've ever had.
Here's the recipe, broken down by the other P-Dubs, in her often immitated, never duplicated Pioneer Woman step-by-step style. Crash your computer getting to this recipe as quickly as humanly possible.
This on-line recipe calls for the kind of basil you can buy in the spice aisle; I used fresh basil and fresh cheeses, as called for in the PW Cookbook. If Pioneer Woman says it's ok to use the other, then I trust her. Becasue she has a pet basset hound, too.