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Sausage Florentine Bake

Prepare once and eat twice with this delicious lasagna-like casserole! Just bake one pan and freeze the second. Later, thaw and bake for an easy and impressive meal. The homemade sauce is so fresh-tasting. —Janice Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min. + standing
  • Makes
    2 casseroles (4 servings each)

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 package (12 ounces) extra wide noodles, cooked and drained
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, cook sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and nutmeg; mix well. Stir in spinach, noodles and onions. Discard bay leaf from sausage mixture.
  • In each of two greased 9-in. square baking pans, layer a fourth of the noodles and a fourth of the sausage mixture. Top each with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining Parmesan.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Editor's Note: Casseroles may be frozen before baking. Thaw in the refrigerator. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 555 calories, 26g fat (12g saturated fat), 217mg cholesterol, 1103mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 36g protein.

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