Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maybe's not everyone's favorite, but it's our favorite

Everyone’s Favorite Lasagne
365 Ways To Cook Pasta Copyright 1988

¼ cup olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef I used ground turkey
½ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cans (28 ounces each) Italian-style plum tomatoes, drained with juices
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper
15 plain or spinach lasagne noodles I used Dreamfields
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced thin or shredded I only used about 2/3 of a one pound bag of shredded mozzarella

1. Heat the olive oil in a large wide saucepan; add the ground beef, onion and garlic. Sauté, stirring, over medium heat until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, basil, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until sauce is cooked down and thickened, 1 ½ to 2 hours. (There should be about 4 cups of sauce. There was a lot more - I had extra.) Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cook the lasagne noodles in plenty of boiling water until al dente, or firm to the bite, about 12 minutes; drain. Let noodles sit in a bowl of cool water until ready to use. DUH! After years of struggling with hot lasagne noodles gluing themselves together, I finally learn the secret.
3. Beat the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and egg together; set aside.
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Select a 9x13 inch shallow baking dish. Add about ½ cup of the tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish. Lift the noodles from the water individually and blot dry on paper toweling. Arrange a slightly overlapping layer of 5 noodles on the bottom of the dish.
5. Dot the noodles with half of the ricotta mixture; add about a third of the remaining sauce and arrange a layer of a third of the mozzarella sauce on top. Arrange a second layer of 5 slightly overlapping lasagne noodles. Dot with the remaining ricotta, half of the remaining tomato sauce, and half of the remaining mozzarella.
6. Top with the 5 remaining lasagne noodles in a slightly overlapping layer; add the remaining sauce and a layer of the remaining mozzarella.
7. Bake until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly, about 50 mi nutes. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving. I made it the night before I served it.

This is a pretty standard lasagne - similar to the way I've always made it but I used to use a prepared sauce but it was just easy to make it from scratch. I just now compared it to the Light Meat and Cheese Lasagna that I made late last year and I wish I had done that first because I would have used fat-free ricotta. I did use all part-skim products, ground turkey and Dreamfield lasagne noodles so this wasn't as decadent as it looked and tasted. We just had salad along side this. The other great thing about this recipe is that I now have half of it in the freezer to pull out for another dinner in couple of weeks (and I have a piece for my lunch today).

And, in case you're wondering, we had the spaghetti and meatballs last week and the lasagne last night. I should have posted something else today and mixed it up. Believe it or not, I'm actually ahead of myself. For the longest time, I've barely been keeping up around here but I actually have a queue of recipes to post right now.

Since this is loaded with antioxidant rich tomatoes, this is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday.

Blast From The Past: Confetti Orzo Salad from January 2006, from this same cookbook. This was my prettiest recipe EVER.

Question of the Day: What's for lunch today?


DancesInGarden said...

It was supposed to be leftover spaghetti, but it didn't turn out well so we threw out the leftovers. DH needs more practice cooking, methinks LOL.

Probably a thai noodle soup from a package. Gotta get my sodium injection for the day ;)

Unknown said...

Well, my brother's friend is coming through and we're just having sub sandwiches and rotel. I'll probably forego the sandwich (not a fan) and do fruit, veggies, and meat with the rotel.

That lasagna looks good...my mom's recipe uses Italian sausage and beef. I think I don't like the flavor of Italian sausage but my dad LOVES it.

Jennifer said...

It was going to be an appple, some peanut butter and a powerbar but someone brought a bunch of breakfast treats from Starbucks so that's what I had for lunch.

Cate said...

A Grilled Cheese and Prosciutto sandwich with leftover Five Cup Salad. Hmmm, love Five Cup Salad.

NoPeanuts said...

We're big lasagna fans ... we make one with smoked gruyere, tons of ricotta and hot italian sausage.

Anonymous said...

You may have heard of this before. If not, you will be converted. Don't boil the noodles. Use regular dried pasta. Build according to recipe and use a little extra sauce. Cover tightly with saran wrap and then cover entire pan with tin foil making sure no saran wrap is visible. Cook according to recipe and remove tin foil and saran wrap for last 15 min or until top just begins to brown. Not cooking the noodles first saves a lot of time, mess and pots!