Monday, October 4, 2010

Lasagna


I like to keep foods simple. Mainly because I am the fussiest person in the world. I make my lasagna half and half. That is to say half with mushrooms and half without.

Lasagna is also one of those meals that doesn't get made very often because it is a little expensive to make. I do use a jump start of sorts in mine. Not because of cheating, but because of the savings. That is Hunt's original spaghetti sauce. One large can of that is half the price of the two cans of tomato sauce you would need. 

I don't think I've ever read a recipe for lasagna. I have only asked others how they make theirs. This is my conclusion of those recipes. This recipe can be much more complicated, depending on whether or not I have fresh tomatoes from the garden. I would then omit the tomato and spaghetti sauce and just cook the tomatoes down with the tomato paste.

Sauce:
1 pound ground beef
4 Italian Sausage links (hot or mild depending on your tastes, I use mild)
1 26.5 ounce can of plain spaghetti sauce (or 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce)
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sweet basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 med onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh or grated
1 15 oz can mushrooms, drained (that's how much I put on half, Mikey loves mushrooms)

Brown the ground beef with salt, pepper and onions until cooked.

In a separate frying pan fry the sausage links until brown, drain on paper towel.

In a large pot pour in the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Let me add here that I'm not making a large pan and I feel lazy so I used dehydrated onion.

Add the spices and Parmesan cheese. When not using fresh oregano or sweet basil, rub the spices between your palms to bring out the oils and flavor before adding. Add ground beef. (I usually just brown the hamburger in the same pot I'm cooking in and add the ingredients on top of it.)

Slice the sausage links into 3/4" pieces and add to sauce. Simmer while you are preparing the other ingredients.

Layers:
3 pounds (Yes, 3 pounds!) mozzarella cheese, shredded (or 1 pound per layer)
1 cup cottage cheese, small curd
1 8 oz container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh or grated 
2 eggs

In small bowl mix together the eggs, ricotta and cottage cheese until well blended.

On the bottom of a large baking pan (12x15) ladle some of the sauce. Place one layer of uncooked lasagna noodles over top. I like to use home style flat lasagna noodles. I love the texture and the lasagna layers better.

Cover the noodles completely with sauce. If you're only doing half mushroom now is when you will layer them. If you want lasagna in all of the sauce add it with the sausage.

Dollop ricotta cheese mixture over sauce.

Cover ricotta cheese with mozzarella. Gently press down.

Repeat three times.

Cover with foil sprayed with baking spray and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 15 minutes. You can also make this in the morning and place in the refrigerator until it's closer to dinner time. The pan I used tonight is only a 9x13 and I'm positive it's going to cook over the sides. I set the pan on a large baking sheet covered in foil.

Remove from oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Do not cut before this time or it will ooze out all over the place. The rest period is a good time to make garlic bread or bake some fresh rolls. Caesar salad goes great with lasagna too.

1 comment:

Army wife said...

To post a comment, after you have written here, click 'Post Comment.' You will see a preview page, left click just under where it says to 'add a profile pic' or anywhere under your comment that does NOT turn into a hand. Hit your TAB key. This will bring up the word verification. Sorry, I can't find a way around it.

Swidget 1.0