Lasagna

lasagna

With the exception of baking, though measurements are included, I rarely adhere to a recipe. I cook primarily based on my senses: smell, taste, and sight which, I realize, doesn’t necessarily bode well for accuracy of measurements since I’m not actually measuring anything, but rather eyeballing, sniffing, and sampling. This characteristic of mine was rather evident especially with this particular recipe. Another one I’ve been making for years, and therefore difficult to quantify amounts, so here is the guideline I use when making it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • 1 15oz container of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Seasonings: fresh parsley, oregano, basil, and/ or Italian seasonings
  • Fresh ground sea salt & black pepper

Preparation:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the chopped onion and garlic briefly before adding the ground beef and sausage, working them into small crumbles. Brown until cooked all the way through. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the grease. Lower the temperature to low and add the can of tomatoes, jar of spaghetti sauce, and tomato sauce and allow to simmer while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

In a large pot, boil water and add the lasagna noodles. Cook according to package directions. Once completed, remove from heat and run cold water over the noodles, to stop from cooking further.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add the Ricotta cheese, mixing well to incorporate. Season with S&P, mix in Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup – 3/4 cup) and various seasonings. Stir to combine.

Spray a 9×13 pan (or 2 9×9 pans) with non-stick spray. Cover the bottom of the pan(s) with half of the meat mixture, add a layer of noodles, spread the Ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, add another layer of noodles, top with remaining meat sauce, and sprinkle the top with grated Mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 -40 minutes and the Mozzarella cheese is lightly toasted. This dish also freezes well. In our case, the girls currently don’t care for lasagna so I prepare it in 2 different pans: one for now and one for the freezer. To freeze: cover the pan first with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Secure with lid. When ready to bake, allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, remove lid, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil and bake as noted.

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