Thursday, July 09, 2009

Mission: Chicken Sausage

Every now and then I do a fridge inventory and think "how did that get in there, and how long has it been there?" This happened to me recently with some chicken sausage. Since this fridge inventory was in response to the inlaw's visit, I was trying to use up as much as I could to make room for the food I was going to be making for them. The chicken sausage had to go. And of course I mean that in the nicest way possibly.

So what do you do with chicken sausage? Well, this one was filled with sundried tomato and basil, which to me screams "ITALIAN!" As much as a sausage can scream. And frankly, screaming sausage just takes me to a place I don't want to go. Childhood nightmares from Upton Sinclair's The Jungle come racing back to me. Let's get back to my happy place.........

I decided first and foremost to make a sausage lasagna. Most of my lasagnas are vegetarian, and I know Thatboy prefers some meat in his - even if it is "chicken." My latest trick is making the lasagna in a brownie pan. Then we have the perfect serving for 4 people...or 2 people with leftovers the next night. So much better than the huge pans I ususally make for Thatmom and which fill our freezer.

Chicken Sausage Lasagna
  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 2 links of sundried tomato and basil sausage, sliced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato/marinara sauce
  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Mix ricotta, basil, sausage, milk, garlic, chili flakes and some salt in medium bowl.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on bottom of 8x8 baking dish.
  3. Lay 2 noodles over the sauce.
  4. Cover with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture and another 1/2 cup of the sauce.
  5. Repeat with noodles, 1/3 cheese mixture, and 1/2 cup sauce twice more.
  6. Top with last layer of pasta, remaining ricotta mixture and sauce, and grated parmesean.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, until the top is golden.

Now if you're paying any attention at all you'll notice that lasagna recipe only has 2 sausages in it...which left me with two more sausages (and who says theater majors can't do math...other than me?) So I turned to my favorite source of "crap I need to use up something in the fridge fast" resources - blogs. Sweet tea in Texas had used chicken sausages to make a Rachel Ray recipe.

I have to say that I am generally unimpressed with Rachel Ray recipes. She failed the "three strikes, your out" test in my kitchen after three practically inedible dishes. So now, I only make RR recipes after someone else does it first and has success. Enter Sweet tea in Texas...she noted that the flavors were good, but she didn't like the bread....and I'm a HUGE fan of bread so I thought I might like it even more than she did. I have to say - this one was a success. So if you're a chicken sausage fan, or a Rachel Ray fan, or a Sweet tea in Texas fan I highly recommend this sandwich. And if you cut the recipe in half, it uses up all your leftover chicken sausage! Voila, voici, and je vous en pris!


  1. Aww.. thanks for the love. I've gotta say, your picture makes me want to try it again.

    And I will glady continue to your Rachael Ray recipe tester as I seem to be cooking something from her at least once a week. :)

  2. Mmm - great use of chicken sausage!

  3. RR can wish to cook like you!! Wow, both those dishes are most inviting to me!!! You are becoming quite a Leftover Queen yourself!!!

  4. Mm. I love sausage in lasagne!

  5. OMG - the brownie pan idea is genius. we always have SO MUCH left over!