“This is a lasagna alternative I found in an old issue of “Canadian Living”. It was from an article spotlighting personal chefs and make-ahead dishes. Bake in two 9×9-inch dishes or one very large casserole.CHEF NOTE:After making this several times, I prefer to make the “topping” more cheesy.I reduce flour to 1/4 cup and reduce milk to 2 cups, increasing cheese to a generous 1 cups mozzarella cheese with another half cup or more sprinkled over top.”
2lbsmild Italian sausage, casings removed
6garlic cloves, minced
2 (28ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
1 (5 1/2 ounce) cans tomato paste
6cupschopped fresh spinach
1 (12ounce) packages spaghetti
1/2 cupall-purpose flour( see chef note in introduction)
3/4 cupshredded mozzarella cheese
1/8 teaspoonfresh ground black pepper
1/2 cupgrated parmesan cheese
In a large pot, cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks with a spatula.
Cook until it is no longer pink.
Drain off fat.
Add onions, garlic and basil and cook for another 5 minutes to soften onions.
Add mushrooms and cook until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste and pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until most of liquid is evaporated.
Stir in spinach.
Meanwhile, for topping: in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
Whisk in the milk.
Cook, whisking constantly for 12 to 15 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Add mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, for noodles: cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until tender but firm.
Drain and add to MEAT sauce; toss to coat.
Spread in 2 greased 8-inch square glass baking dishes (this is what original recipe says, but not adequate–try 2 9 x 13-inch pans instead); pour topping over and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in 375F° oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden.