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Lasagna

I’m not sure sure what inspired me to put lasagna on my list of things to make, but once I found a few good-looking recipes I couldn’t wait to make it! Of course, I couldn’t stick to one recipe and I combined aspects from a few different ones. The end result was extremely good. It had over-the-top flavor and I couldn’t think of anything wrong with it. My only complaint was how hard it was to remember the “correct” way of layering according to the directions. Why can’t each layer be identical? It would make my life easier. But it’s ok, because this is now one of my all time favorite pasta recipes. Which is saying something, because pasta isn’t something I cook on a weekly basis. I’m going to write the recipe using the exact measurements I used for the two of us, and I baked it in a 8×8 pan.

Meat Lasagna

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, All Recipes’ Deep Dish Lasagna, All Recipes’ World’s Best Lasagna, and Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna Ever

Serves…3? Apparently. Jacob ate 2/3 of the 8×8 pan in one night. Should be 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box lasagna noodles (Next time I’ll try the oven ready kind)
  • 2 links hot Italian sausage (Out of a package of 5, which was 19 oz. So I used about 1/2 lb)
  • 1/3 ish lb of ground beef (It was leftover)
  • 1/2 of a large onion, diced (Or 1 small)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (one is for the ricotta mixture)
  • Handful parsley, chopped (I didn’t have this but it would have been nice. I used dried.)
  • 1/2 of a 6 oz can tomato pasta
  • 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes crushed in food processor)
  • 3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp Greek oregano (omg so good!)
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp fennel (maybe I’ll bump it up next time)
  • 8 oz part skim ricotta (1/2 of 15 oz container)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (Romano works)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, until al dente.  (I always add a couple extra noodles, just in case one breaks during cooking.)  Drain and set aside.  (I like to lay out the noodles so that they are flat and separated, to avoid them sticking to each other or curling up.  It makes the assembly process easier.)

In the meantime, in a very large skillet or saucepan (12-14 inches), crumble the Italian sausage and cook over medium-high heat until it just begins to brown.  Add the onion, garlic and 1/3 cup of the parsley to the pan and continue cooking until the sausage is completely browned and cooked through.   Mix in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining parsley, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, eggs, garlic salt, and pepper.  Mix well until blended.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Spread 2 cups of sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Layer with 4 lasagna noodles.  Top the noodles with half of the cheese-spinach mixture and spread evenly to a thin layer.  Top with about a third of the remaining sauce mixture, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.  Layer again with 4 more noodles and the remaining cheese-spinach mixture.  Spread half of the remaining sauce mixture over the top, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.  The final layer will be 4 noodles, the remaining sauce, and a layer of shredded mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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