A sausage and green pepper tomato sauce hints to the Italian roots of this casserole recipe that has been adapted into American cuisine. This version is cheesy, saucy, and oh so good.
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, then green pepper, onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add sausage and cook until no longer pink, 5 minutes, breaking apart with a spoon. Add crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.
3. In a medium-size bowl, blend together ricotta and egg. Sir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan cheese and the black pepper.Begin layering:
4. Place 1 cup sauce on bottom of prepared dish. Top with 3 noodles (do not overlap). Top with 3/4 cup of the ricotta and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Ladle on 1 cup of the sauce, then 3 noodles and 1 cup sauce. Top sauce with 3 more noodles, then top with remaining ricotta. Spread with 1 cup sauce, then final 3 noodles. Top noodles with remaining sauce, remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
5. Cover dish with nonstick foil; bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Uncover dish; bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes until top is browned. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.