Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lasagna

Tonight we are having Lasagna. I am sure everyone has their own special recipe, this is mine.
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 pound of your favorite Italian sausage (Before Meghan we used Hot, now with her eating what we are eating we use Mild)
  • Your favorite Spaghetti sauce
  • One can of petite diced tomatoes
  • Small palm full of your favorite Italian Seasoning blend, mine happens to be Pampered Chef's
In my skillet I brown the meats together. If you buy the sausage in the casing(links) you will need to take them out of the casing before cooking. Just split the casing down the side with a paring knife and then you can turn the sausage out no problem.

*I like my lasagna chunky and full of yummy vegetables like carrots, zuchinni, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. However my husband doesn't like chunky, so sometimes I take all of my favorite veges and pulse them in the food processor until they are small bits, then I add that to the sauce. Just remember that it doesn't take much of each vege you add since you are making them small. Tonight I am not doing that because I am feeling LAZY.

Once I have my meat mixture browned and drained of the fat I add my spaghetti sauce. I buy the stuff in the cans because to me it tastes just as good as the stuff in the jars, is cheap, and I can doctor it up to suit my taste buds. Then I add the can of petite diced tomatoes, I use those because as I mentioned my husband isn't into the chunky. Finally I add a small palm full of my favorite Italian Seasoning. Turning the heat as low as it can go I leave that to simmer while I move on to my Ricotta cheese mixture.
  • 1 15oz. tub of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • palm full each of grated Parmesean and Romano cheese
  • small palm full of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning


Combine the five ingredients above in a bowl. Set aside.

  • Your favorite 9x13 pan
  • cooking spray
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Shredded Parmesean Blend
*If you have a package of Italian 5 Cheese blend, you can use that instead of the other cheeses.

Spray your pan with your cooking spray. When I am spraying a baking dish with cooking spray I put the dish on the inside of my dishwasher to spray that way any spray over gets washed away with the next load. Just make sure the dishwasher is empty of has dirty dishes in it, you don't want to spray your clean dishes with cooking spray.

My precious daughter, Miss M helping mommy

La
yer about 1/4 of the meat mixture in the bottom of your pan. Now here is the cool part, I haven't cooked my noodles since long before those no cook noodles became the rage. I use regular noodles, or whole wheat in our case, and just make my lasagna in the morning to allow my noodles time to absorb some liquid. My pan allows me to lay 4 noodles across the pan lengthwise.
Laddle just enough of the meat and sauce to cover your noodles. Dot the meat and sauce with about 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture. I use my fork to spread out the ricotta cheese out a bit.


Sprinkle the top of the ricotta cheese mixture with about a handful of the shredded cheeses. If you like cheesy, use more, if you don't use less.

Do another layer of noodles, meat sauce, ricotta cheese mixture and the shredded cheeses. Then top off with the last layer of noodles and the remaining meat sauce. I like to sprinkle the top of my lasagna with a lot of the shredded cheeses.


I started this lasagna at about 10am, and by noon it was done and ready to hang out in the refrigerator until time to bake it. Usually it doesn't take me that long, but with referring a toddler and a puppy....well you get the idea.

When it came time to bake the lasagna I took it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before I wanted to bake it to let it start coming up to room temperature....I know, I know the food police are going to be busting down my door any minute now.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Put your tin foil covered lasagna in the oven once the oven reaches temperature. Bake for 45 minutes with the foil on, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

My husband likes this much better the second evening....must be a pasta thing. To reheat, bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until warmed through.

Freezer tip: We like to eat on this for two nights, and then freeze the rest. What I do is cut the lasagna into thirds. After the baked lasagna has been in the fridge overnight and before I reheat it I put 1/3 of the lasagna on a sheet of tin foil that I placed on a cookie sheet. Removing the lasagna from the pan works much better if you use two spatulas. I then wrap the lasagna in the tin foil I set it on and place the cookie sheet with the lasagna in the freezer. Usually I let it freeze overnight. The next morning I take the cookie sheet with the frozen lasagna on it out of the freezer and vacuum seal it using my food saver. When I want to eat it, I take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes I carefully remove the lasagna from the vacuum sealer bag and the tin foil. Then I place it in a small pan coated with cooking spray. Top the pan with tin foil and put the pan in the refrigerator to finish dethawing.

Hope you enjoy!

1 comment:

Mother Goose said...

love your recipe blog!