Social activist Anna Jarvis is credited with creating Mother’s Day back in 1908 as a way of honoring the passing of her mother and the sacrifices that all mothers make for their children. History records that Jarvis later denounced the holiday because it became so commercialized. She subsequently spent the later years of her life trying to undo her efforts which led to it being recognized as a national holiday.
Mother’s Day spending
Her efforts failed and the commercialization of Mother’s’ Day grew exponentially year after year. Fast forward to 2018, Mother’s Day spending is expected to total “a near-record $23.1 billion this year,” according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), with Americans spending an average of $180 on mom to celebrate her.
The NRF survey also revealed another interesting fact: 29% or 3 out of 10 moms would love to receive a “gift of experience” such as a gym membership, spa day, paint and sip outing, gourmet cooking class – you get the ideal.
A heartfelt gift of experience
About 70% of us will book a reservation at a restaurant and take mom out to eat. That is a lovely experience. While I absolutely appreciate the ritual of dining out on Mother’s Day, I have to admit I equally appreciate the effort of having a lovely home cooked meal thoughtfully prepared, beautifully plated and cheerfully served to me. And sometimes, avoiding the crowds, long wait times and skipping the hustle and bustle at restaurants is just what I need.
What is more loving and nurturing than having someone you love make dinner as way of honoring you? That is a not only a wonderful experience, it is a most memorable one.
A Mother’s Day recipe
If you are thinking about dining home this Mother’s Day and you are searching for a recipe to wow and honor your mom or the woman who has played a significant role in nurturing you, look no further.
My Mother’s Day Spinach and Turkey Sausage Lasagne recipe is hearty, satisfying, scrumptious and beautiful. It uses fresh spinach and a homemade sauce made with fire roasted tomatoes. One word of caution: this recipe takes time to prepare, so carve out some time and take your time. It is not to be rushed. And after you taste that first bite, it will be your favorite lasagne, rivaling any restaurant recipe.
I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe and that you have a beautiful Mother’s Day.
Oh, and the gifts of experience the NRF mentioned that moms would love to have for Mother’s Day, add at least one of them too – in addition to making her dinner. After all, she deserves it.
Cooks note: I did sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over each layer of mozzarella cheese to boost the flavor. This is completely optional.
Mother’s Day Spinach and Turkey Sausage Lasagne
This will be your favorite lasagne, rivaling any restaurant recipe.
1 immersion blender (or blender if you must)
2 pounds Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
1 box no boil lasagne noodles (Barilla featured here)
4 cans simple truth fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium bell pepper
½ cup chopped red onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1~ 5 ounce package fresh spinach
16 ounces ricotta cheese
- To a large mixing bowl, add 4 cans of fire roasted tomatoes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet set on medium heat. Add chopped bell pepper and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped onion and stirring another two 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped garlic and stir another 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add sauté vegetables to bowl of tomatoes. With an immersion blender, blend until semi smooth, about 40 to 50 pulses.( If you don’t have an immersion blender, and you should, place contents into a stand up blender, and pulse until semi smooth.)
- Add blended tomatoes and sautéed vegetables to a large sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoon Italian season, 3 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Blend well. Set heat at medium, once sauce is heated, turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat once done and set aside.
- While sauce is simmering, to that same skillet set on medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once heated, add 5 ounce package of fresh spinach. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the spinach is wilted. Remove spinach from the skillet and scoop into heat resistant dish. Once cooled, you will chop it.
- To that same skillet, add Italian sausage (casing removed). Break up the meat with a wooden spoon once in pan. Cook on medium to medium high heat until lightly browned. Drain off excess fat.
- To a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives, chopped spinach. Blend well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to taste it to ensure it has enough flavor.
- Spray the bottom of a large 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Using 4 sheet of pasta, form two rows across the length of the dish. The noodles will overlap in the center. Leave a little space between the rolls as the pasta will cook and expand.
- Take half of the ricotta cheese mixture and spread over both rolls of pasta.
- Take half of the cooked Italian sausage and spread it evenly over the casserole dish.
- Scoop out 2 generous cups of sauce and spread over the meat in the casserole dish.
- Cover sauce with 1 cup of cheese.
- Repeat, using 4 more pasta sheets to form second layer.
- For the final layer, top with 4 more pasta sheets. Add remaining sauce and spread evenly over sheet pasta. Spread 1 cup of cheese over the top.
- Tightly cover with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.
- Let stand 30 minutes before serving.