Friday, September 9, 2016

Lasagna - my way.

Lasagna 2

I've been making this lasagna for almost 30 years. When I was a young cook, and a new homeowner, this was my go-to dish because:

1) It feeds a crowd
2) It's really delicious
3) I could make it a day in advance
4) It was one of the few dishes that I could make

That was many, many years ago. I have quite a few dishes under my belt at this time but this lasagna is something I make a few times a year.

Over the years I've forced myself to write down recipes that I just kind of made without writing anything down.. In a way that is how this blog started oh so many years ago. I needed to have a place where I could share my recipes while also documenting them for my own personal history. So, it's finally all written down and it's comfort food at it's finest.....cheesy and meaty and gooey. Everything you want a lasagna to be!

Lasagna

Lisa's Lasagna
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
PRINTABLE RECIPE
1 pound lasagna noodles
2 pounds ground beef or turkey or a mixture of both.
1 large onion, chopped
Garlic, chopped – to taste. I use 5 – 6 cloves. We are garlic fiends. You can use less.
Large container (32oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs
12 slices Provolone cheese cut in half
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan grated cheese
4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped basil
Sauce – I usually make my own sauce, but in a pinch jarred will do. You will probably end up using 1 large jar or 2 small jars.

I start my lasagna the way I start many dishes, by cooking up some onions and garlic in some good olive oil. I do a fairly large chop on the onions and then cook them in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, just until they are translucent. Add the ground beef or turkey, or both and cook until meat is no longer pink inside. Drain any grease from the mixture.Set aside.

I don't boil my lasagna noodles. I find that most times they come out overcooked and then when they go in the oven, they become mush. This is what I do. I boil some water in my kettle. I place the whole package of noodles in a 9x13 baking pan and pour enough boiling water over them so they are covered. After I pour the water over, I take a fork and separate any noodles that are sticking together so that the water gets in between each noodle. Let them sit for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, 2 eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, Italian seasoning and the herbs. Mix gently. I don’t measure any of the herbs. I just chop them up and kind of go with what looks good to me. Set aside.

The assembly:

I kind of make an assembly station for my lasagna making.

I line up, in this order…..the lasagna noodles, your baking dish, then the sauce, the ricotta mixture and finally the meat mixture. I start by putting a little sauce in the bottom of the pan. This prevents the noodles from sticking. Put down one layer of noodles (just grab them from the water with a fork and shake off the access water). Spread on the ricotta mixture, a layer of mozzarella cheese, and 8 half slices of provolone. Just scatter them over the top. Put a thin layer of sauce over the top. Not too, too much. Repeat layers. I usually get 3 layers from one box. The number of layers will depend on the size of your pan. End with a layer of noodles on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with a little cooking spray or your cheese will stick to the foil. Heat in a 375 degree oven for 40 - 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. IMPORTANT!! Place on a foil lined cookie sheet in case of spills and bubble over! I remove the foil at the last 15 of cooking so the edges get nice and crunchy…the best part! Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

I usually serve this with a big salad and some garlic bread. You can make this a day in advance, just take it out an hour before baking and add about 10 minutes to your cooking time.
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