Lasagna with Sausage and Ricotta~

Adapted from Creme de Colorado

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used Red Gold)

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 bay leaf

1 stalk of celery, cut in half

2 cups water

4 links Italian sausage (1 1/2-2 pounds), sliced

1 pound ricotta cheese

1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, grated 

8 ounces lasagna noodles, soaked in warm water for about an hour

In a large pan, saute onion in olive oil till translucent.  Add garlic and saute till fragrant.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, oregano,thyme, bay leaf, celery and water.  Simmer for 2-3 hours.  Remove celery and bay leaf.

Soak dried lasagna noodles in warm water for about an hour.  No need to boil using this method.

Cook sausage in a saute pan till browned on both sides and cooked through.  Add to sauce.

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan.  Put a small amount of sauce (without sausage) on bottom of dish. Start layering with half the noodles, then half the sauce, half the ricotta, and half the cheese.  Repeat. Cover with a greased piece of foil.  Bake for 1 hour. Cool about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.