Saturday, July 24, 2010

Italian Lasagna

I realized after weeks of not blogging the reason why I hadn't been keeping the neighborhood updated about love, life and food was because of this post. If the undertaking of homemade lasagna wasn't enough, I had to blog about it too...ugh. Don't get me wrong I love sharing my recipes and photos BUT this particular one was so complex and long and there were so many great photos. Here's a wonderful, yummy, lasagna to make. Paired with home made garlic bread and a Cesar salad. It's Suuuuper delicious.

Traditional Italian Lasagna

Meat Sauce:
1 Lb Italian Sausage
1 Lb Ground Beef
1/2 c. Minced Onion
2 cloves Garlic Crushed
2 (28oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
2 (60z) cans Tomato Paste
2 (6.5) cans Tomato Sauce
1/2 c. Water
2 tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Basil Leaves (dry)
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 Black Pepper
Salt according to taste
4 tbsp Fresh Parsley
Ricotta Cheese Filling:
32oz Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
1tsp tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
1 c. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced  
14 Lasagna Noodles (I learned a great way of cooking noodles for lasagna, its pure genius really. About twenty minuets before the noodles will be used fill a shallow baking dish [I used a 9x13 cake pan] with hot water place all of your noodles in the water to soak. After about ten minuets they will be pliable but not as flimsy as if they had been boiled. They will finish cooking in the oven and will be able to stand up to your meaty lasagna. Trust me it works!!)
2 c. Parmesan cheese
In a large pot cook on medium high the onion, garlic, sausage and beef till fragrent and the meat is brown. Then, stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomato and water. In a small bowl mix up the spices (Basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, and sugar) and combine with the sauce and stir in 4 tbsp (more or less) parsley. Give the pot a big stir and turn the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 2 hours or more if you can stand it, the longer the better.

Ricotta Mixture:
In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, cheese, egg, salt, and 2 tbsp parsley. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375.

When your sauce, cheese mixture and noodles are finished set up your lasagna layering station. Place a 9x13 baking dish in directly in front with all of the lasagna parts surrounding it in order from left to right starting with meat sauce, parmesan, noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella.

To Assemble:

1 1/2 c. Meat Sauce
A generous sprinkle of shredded paremesan cheese
7 Noodles
1/2 Ricotta mixture
1/2 Mozzarella Cheese

1 1/2 c. Meat Sauce
A generous sprinkle of shredded paremesan cheese
7 Noodles
1/2 Ricotta cheese
1/2 Mozzarella Cheese

Top it with another big scoop of meat sauce and a few more sprinkles of Parmesan.

That's it! Stick it in the oven for 25 minuets covered with tinfoil and 25 more minuets uncovered. After the full 50 minuets of baking remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minuets before cutting.

* The recipe for meat sauce makes A TON extra, which is awesome because it's a great thing to have on hand for a quick spaghetti dinner later in the week or for the next time you make lasagna. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months.

1 comment:

  1. WOW.
    You go girl...
    This is a huge job.

    You are amazing!