This hearty main course can be made with the ground meat of your choice or the meat can be omitted for a vegetarian side dish.
Key Ingredient Beef, Mozzarella, Red Wine, Sausage, Spinach, Tomato
Prep Time 45minutes
Cook Time 1hour
Total Time 1hour45minutes
Author Vintage Kitty
1loaf of Italian bread
1/2lbof loose Italian sausage or ground beef
28ozcan of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
6ozspinachwashed and dried in a salad spinner
1 1/2TBAP flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3small zucchini
1 to 2Japanese eggplants
Preheat oven to 350F
Trim the crust of the bread off and set aside the rest of the loaf.
Pulse bread crust in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add about 2 cups of the breadcrumbs to melted butter and stir to coat crumbs with butter.
Remove breadcrumbs from the pan and set aside.
Slice the remaining bread into thin slices (about 1/2-3/4 inch thick) and toast bread.
Lightly oil a lasagna pan and then line the bottom with toasted bread.
Over medium heat, cook the sausage.
Remove cooked sausage, leaving behind the pan drippings.
Sauté diced onions in the sausage drippings until golden (If you omit the sausage for a vegetarian dish, use about a tablespoon of oil or butter).
Add Italian seasoning and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant.
Throw in the tomatoes and red wine and bring to a gentle simmer.
Combine the heavy cream and flour in a jar and shake to combine.
Add the cream mixture to the sauce and cook until sauce thickens, stirring frequently.
Add in the spinach and cook just until spinach wilts ( Using tongs to fold in spinach may be helpful).
Turn off the heat, stir in the basil and cooked sausage into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the bread with about half of the sauce
Slice zucchini and eggplant into thin rounds and layer in the pan, alternating slices of eggplant and zucchini.
Top vegetables with remaining sauce.
Mix the two cheeses together and layer on top of sauce.
Finally add breadcrumbs.
Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and the top of casserole is a browned.
Depending on the size of your loaf of bread, you may not need the whole thing.To make this dish vegetarian either substitute sausage with vegetarian sausage, or omit the meat completely and use vegetable oil to saute the onions and garlic.