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Recipes: Italian LasagnaItalian Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 16oz pkg Italian Ground Sausage
1 med onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 24oz jar marinara sauce
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed and chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried oregano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, lightly oil and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, saute the sausage, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Add onion and garlic and continue sauteing for another 4 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.
Add marinara sauce to the sausage mixture and set aside. In a medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and the chopped spinach; set aside.
Coat a 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil and spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom.
Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread 1/4 of the ricotta cheese mixture on the noodles and layer on 1 cup of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over this. Repeat this process three more times starting with the noodles and finish with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with oregano.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Fried and Stuffed Rice Balls
Recipes: Fried and Stuffed Rice BallsIngredients

1 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups cooked and cooled risotto or short-grain rice, recipe follows
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
4 ounces Gorgonzola, at room temperature, cut into 16 (1/2-inch) cubes
Vegetable oil, for frying
Breading: Put the bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Filling: In a medium bowl, combine the risotto, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, and eggs. With damp hands, using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto mixture, form the mixture into 1 3/4-inch diameter balls. Make a hole in the center of each ball and insert a cube of Gorgonzola. Cover up the hole to completely enclose the cheese. Roll the balls in the breading to coat.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about 1/3 of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you dont have a thermometer, a cube of bread will brown in about 2 minutes.) In batches, fry the rice balls, turning occasionally, until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Basic Risotto:
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the broth hot.
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup hot broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next. Cook the rice until tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
Yield: 2 cups

Recipes: Roast Baby LambRoast Baby Lamb

5 pound baby lamb shoulder with bone, cut in 2-inch cubes
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups beef stock

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients except the beef stock until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours, tossing occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Transfer the contents of the refrigerated bowl to a roasting pan large enough to accommodate a single layer of vegetables covered by a single layer of meat. Add the stock and roast, basting and turning the lamb frequently, until the meat is very tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the lamb from the pan and set it aside. Skim and discard as much fat as possible from the pan liquids. Place the pan over high heat and boil until the liquid reduces to about 1 1/4 cups. Transfer the meat to a smaller roasting pan and strain the reduced sauce over it. Place the meat in the oven and roast, turning the meat every 10 minutes, until extremely tender, brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes.
Strain the juices from the pan and, if necessary, reduce further over moderately high heat; there should be 1/2 cup of finishing sauce. Transfer the lamb to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over it.