Swiss Chard and Sweet Italian Sausage Lasagna

I love to cook!!!! Not bake but cook…. but our lil’family has been so busy the last few years with all the renovations I have not had the energy or time to cook any of my favourite recipes. Before kids, I used to watch the cooking channel when I was at the gym like it was my job and still love a good Jamie Oliver or Chef Micheal Smith whenever I can fit them in. This year I decided that I wanted to do a non traditional dinner for Easter here at our house. The whole fam jam was coming and this lasagna is one of my absolute favs! It is a bit time consuming to make but it is worth all the work!! I promise!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 packages sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 3 pounds chopped Swiss chard
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon coarse himalayan pink salt (regular coarse salt can be subsituted)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Juice from 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 purple onion diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse himalayan pink salt (regular coarse salt can be subsituted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 package oven ready lasagna noodles
  •  1 1/2 cups grated Italian blend grated cheese

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Begin by removing the casing on the sausage and heating the oil in a large pan.  Add sweet sausage to the sauté pan continue to stir until it is fully cooked through. Remove from the pan into a paper towel lined bowl and set aside.

 Add the chopped shallots to the sausage drippings in the pan and cook until softened and translucent. When the shallots are ready add the Swiss Chard, and cook until it is beginning to wilt, make sure you are stirring it along the way. Now add the sliced garlic, the lemon zest, and the himalayan salt, then season with pepper. Continue to stir until the swiss chard is completely wilted and add in the fresh squeeze lemon juice. When its finished, strain and set aside in a bowl.

Using a deep sauce pan on medium heat add the butter and stir until melted. Add the diced purple onion and remaining himalayan pink salt and the red pepper flakes, stir  until the onions are browned and translusent. Now add the flour stirring and allow it to cook for about a minute. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil, remember to gently stir using a whisk. Reduce to a low heat and continue to simmer and stir until it is thick and creamy.  Remove from heat.

Begin to layer your lasagna pan with the white sauce, add a layer of noodles, you will now add a layer of sweet sausage and top this with the swiss chard mixture. Top again with the white sauce and noodles and then your last layer of meat and swiss chard mixture. Use the last of your noodles and white sauce on the top and now layer your Italian blend cheese evenly all over. Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving and enjoy!

 

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