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Pesto Lasagna

(Serves 8)

1-1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 garlic cloves

3/4 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
3/4 pound ground beef
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2-1/2 cups pesto
1 pound  ricotta cheese
9 dry lasagna noodles
1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


To make the pesto:
Combine the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan, and garlic in a food processor.  Puree until smooth. Set aside.

Combine sausage, beef, mushrooms, onion, pepper, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat.   Break up the sausage and beef with a fork.
Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 15 minutes.  Drain off any liquid.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and olives.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine pesto and ricotta in a bowl.
Spread a thin layer of the sausage mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Top with a layer of lasagna noodles.  Spread some of the pesto mixture evenly over the top.  Sprinkle with some of the mozzarella and Parmesan.  Repeat layers 2 more times.  Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Pesto Lasagna
Pesto Lasagna is a unique lasagna recipe with a complexity of flavors.
Pesto Lasagna
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Pesto (pronounced PEH-stoh) is an uncooked sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and/or pecorino cheese and olive oil.  The ingredients can either be crushed with a mortar and pestle or finely chopped with a food processor.  Pesto is never cooked or heated. This classic, fresh-tasting sauce originated in Genoa, Italy, and although used on a variety of dishes, it has just one great role: to be the most seductive of all sauces for pasta.

More information about pesto  >>
This insulated carrier has a large main compartment and an expandable top compartment that are designed to accommodate most 9" x 13" baking dishes.
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