This dish was inspired by my 8 year old granddaughter Riley. We had planned on some good ole Tuscany style Lasagna yet realized we were out of Lasagna noodles! So Riley started digging through our kitchen cupboard & says to me 'look gram, we have Ditalini!! Ditalini is a small pasta shell sometime used for Macaroni salad, so being this bold cook wanting to go where Noone has gone'Haha' We decided ''Why Not??..Then I thought 'ok' if were going to do something so different here' Lets get real creative & make it Mexican'ish!! So our Mexican lasagna journey began...Enjoy!
1Cook the italian sausage till brown' add the garlic' peppers' onion' cilantro'seasonings' salt & pepper to taste' but be careful of the salt use since the cheeses are already.. set aside. any marinara sauce can be used..
2In skillet make the Bechamel sauce 1st on med heat' then reducing to low' butter 1 cup' flour 1/2 cup' then slowly add milk & stir until slightly thickened. Keep heat on low for next step..Slowly whisk in 2 eggs but not to scramble! this will help keep the sauce formed & a tad thick when baked.. cook the pasta..i dont cook the full 11-12 mins because its going to keep cooking when put into oven..Add the bechamel to ricotta & blend ''set aside.
3In medium size casserole dish ''glass or aluminum'' doesnt matter. Bake uncovered for the 1st 20 mins or until bubbly & brown' then cover w/foil for remaining time..Remember to save part of the parm for topping.. add 1/2 the Marinara to bottom of dish' 1/2 pasta' 1/2 meat mixture' 1/2 of the cheeses then 1/2 of the bechamel/ricotta sauce' and repeat again...Using the extra shredded parm for top with chopped parsley for presentation.just a tbsp or so''.Bake 40 mins 350 "let stand @ room temp for approx 15 mins before slicing into servings''
4I serve with a simple green salad w/blue cheese dressing' homemade croutons & warm garlic bread..