Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sausage and Ravioli Lasagna

This year it was my great pleasure to have dinner on Valentine's Day with my best friend, Nicoll, and her mother.  We used to have dinner, just the three of us, almost once a week but then as everyone's schedules got busier and busier we haven't been able to get together as much as I would like.  

"Granny Lynn", as she is now called by her granddogs and the newest generation of babies joining our group, is one of my favorite people in the world....her sleek style, undying devotion to her family and loyalty to the ones she loves are only part of the reason I love her so much.  She is one of those women who has helped shape me into the woman I am today and am grateful for all she has taught me over the years.  

Her daughter, Nicoll, and I have been friends since we first met at volleyball tryouts our freshman year in high school and have been best friends ever since.  She is my rock, my sounding board and can always make me laugh whether by her silly sense of humor or by her hopeless attempts to calm her rambunctious, yet incredibly loving, brood of dogs!

With two of my favorite people to share Valentine's Day, I was surrounded by nothing less than 100% love which is the only way to spend this holiday!

Sausage-and-Ravioli Lasagna
as adapted from Southern Living

1 lb. ground Italian Sausage
1 (24 oz.) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
1 (6 oz.) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup pesto sauce
1 (25 oz.) package frozen cheese-filled ravioli (do not thaw)
1 cup shredded Italian six-cheese blend
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink.  
 
Stir pasta sauce into sausage.
 
Chop spinach and zucchini and toss with pesto in a bowl.
 
Spoon one-third of sausage mixture (about 1/2 cup) into a lightly greased 11x7-inch baking dish.  
Top  with half of spinach mixture.  
Top with layer of ravioli.  
 
Repeat layers once.  
  
Top with remaining sauce mixture. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and bake 5 to 8 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
 
This post could absolutely not be complete without some pictures of the puppies...

This is Hubert....he's a hound dog...
This is Hooby-Dooby-Doo with his brother Murphy
Waiting patiently for their mother to give them a treat!
In an attempt for our readers to see exaclty how big Hubert is Nicoll tried to arrange a family photo...this is how that went...
 
It's not looking good for Nicoll..
 
This is HYSTERICAL to me!!!  It's hard to be a puppy-mother!
Nicoll finally escaped!


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