Slow Down for Lasagna!


Lasagna was not something I ate often at home when I was a kid. We ate curry more than we ate spaghetti. I received a children’s cookbook and lasagna was the first recipe I ever made.  The only times we really ate it, I made it. I became a lasagna lover of my own accord and sometimes make non standard versions with things like creamed spinach and chicken.

I think that lasagna is a meal fit for a crowd. It’s comforting and inviting, it begs you to slow down and sit down and share with others. Somehow, it is familiar to everyone. 

 This is a hearty version of lasagna with lots of flavor and texture.  

 

Layer as many times as possible in a deep rectangular casserole, ending with pasta, sauce & cheese. Try to give yourself a half inch at the top for ‘bubble room,’ if you can’t quite make it, then bake in shallow pan in case the sauce bubbles over.  There is no need to boil the pasta as long as you have plenty of sauce. 

Big Meaty Cheesy Lasagna

1. Sauce

Begin by sautéing

  • 1 cup chopped red onion

Add to it

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1Tb crushed red pepper

cook together until soft. add

  • 4 red peppers, roasted and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves

cook 3-4 min. add

  • 2 Lrg cans crushed tomato in puree (approx. 56oz)
  • 1 Lrg can diced tomatoes in sauce
  • 2Tb oregano
  • 2Tb parsley
  • 1Tb basil

Season and simmer 20-30 min.

 2. Uncooked lasagna pasta. ~15 uncooked noodles for the pan

 3. Ricotta layer. Mix well in a medium bowl.

  • 2lb ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup parmesan
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parley, basil, oregano
  • 2Tb garlic powder
  • s/p

 4. Meat. Season and brown. Drain fat.

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2lb ground Italian sausage

 5. Provolone. ~16 slices (approx 1lb shredded) provolone

 6. Mozzarella. +2lb shredded mozzarella

I like to layer mine like this:

sauce, Pasta, ricotta, meat, provolone, mozzarella, sauce, Pasta, ricotta, meat, provolone, mozzarella, ricotta, sauce, Pasta, sauce, provolone, mozzarella. But the general rule is to sandwich the pasta with sauce and moisture.  

Speaking about plenty of sauce, I like stiffer lasagna than my husband does so I make the pan as described and serve his with a ladle of extra sauce leftover from assembly.

In my house we freeze portions to serve 2 and they never stay in the freezer for long.