Sunday, October 14

Recipe Sunday - Lasagna

This week was busy, this week was bustling. I didn't have the time to make a post earlier in the week like I planned but that just means that I have to make this post ten times more worth your while. Sad note: I was too into serving the dish and eating up that I forgot to take a picture of the final product. So let's just imagine the most tantalizing, mouth watering, Garfield worthy pan of lasagna and lets go with that. 

On a side note, this Mountaineer is not happy this week. While I understand that the Mountaineers were really not playing as well as they needed to be and the team was really getting lucky in some instances, we got beat to hell at the Texas Tech game. It's upsetting. Our beautiful number 5 ranking was pulled out from under us and now the team needs to work their asses off to pick up the rest of this season. Moving on to what everyone is here for now, the recipe!!

Lasagna can be a very easy recipe. It can be fun to make but it is a little time consuming. You need to be willing to invest at least an hour or two (maybe three) into the making of this dish. Lasagna is also very rewarding and can leave you with a few days worth of leftovers which are just as good as the day you made it. Me and my little sister/best friend Kelli made this lasagna for 7 people total. Now we also made extra (we made 2 pans) so we would have leftovers after all of us ate our fill. So, knowing that, adjust your ingredients accordingly. And this is not an exact science, mess with it a little. You want a meatier sauce? Add more. You like vegetables? Chop up those bitches and throw 'em in. So let us get this going.

Gather your goods:

  • Box of lasagna noodles
  • 1-2 lbs (or more) of hamburger (turkey burger, etc. Whatever tickles your fancy.)
  • 2 big jars of tomato based spaghetti sauce (Can you say Ragu)
  • Any fresh vegetables that you like i.e., mushrooms, spinach, peppers, onions.
  • 2 cans of diced tomatos, drained
  • ricotta cheese
  • cottage cheese, drained
  • 1 egg
  • dried parsley and any other seasoning that you like to use in your cooking.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • Cheese.

Get your oven preheated to 375°. Now while you don't have to do this right at the start, I like to go ahead and get it going because I tend to forget about it until I actually need the oven if I don't. You're going to want to pull out a pan that is big enough to handle the amount of burger that you want to put into your sauce. Or cook your meat in two separate parts. Brown your burger up and season it to your liking.

Get a nice big sauce pot on the stove and dump in the spaghetti sauce, cut up your vegetables in it, and season accordingly. This is the part that you can go wild with, put whatever you want in to your sauce. Want mushrooms? YES! Onions?! uh DUH! Zucchini? Why the hell not?! So now you have your sauce started with red sauce and veggies making sweet love in your pot, is your meat done? Good! Throw that in there too! After you have everything in your pot cover it and let it simmer. When I say simmer, I mean simmer. We aren't trying to cook down the sauce, and we aren't trying to soften the vegetables. Do NOT forget that your sauce will be cooking for over 40 minutes in the oven and you don't want your veggies to be mushy. No one likes mushy veggies.

Now it is time to get your noodles cooked up. Don't you dare use the cheater pre-cooked noodles. That is blasphemy and punishable by death in these parts. Get a box of lasagna noodles and set them in some boiling water. Protip - put oil and salt in your water to make sure that your water doesn't boil over and to lightly season your noodles. Boil your noodles making sure to swish your noodles around every once in a while to make sure they don't stick. You're aiming for al dente noodles. Click the link if you don't know how to do that.

Drain your noodles and place them on a flat surface to cool slightly so that you can begin to assemble. Now is the time to put together your Ricotta cheese/Cottage cheese mixture. Grab a measuring device, heck it can be a spoon for all I care, you just need to be able to have 2 parts cottage cheese to 1 part ricotta cheese and 1 egg. Mix the 3 ingrediants
The way that I assemble is to put a layer of sauce down first, the noodles, then my ricotta cheese mixture, then sauce, cheese, and noodles. Then keep repeating the process. Usually you can get 2 full layers, maybe 3. 

Soo...We're looking at a formula that looks something like this
 (Repeat steps 2-5 until desired amount of layers):

1. Sauce
3. Ricotta mix
5. Glorious Cheese
6. Noodle

Oh yea, I should mention. The more cheese the better.

Cover that bad boy with foil, bake at 375° for 25 minutes then pull it out and rip the foil off like a crazy person. Bake for another 25 minutes. When the timer goes off pull it out and let sit for 15 minutes to set then eat like a king, or queen. 

Makes: This recipe can make anywhere from a single 13x9 pan that will serve 9 to 12 to as many pans that you can stand to bake and will serve a rather large crowd. This exact making served 7 people with leftovers going to 3 separate households. So a good bit.

Rating: 5/5 Credit must go to where it is due, this is my moms recipe and I grew up with it. I love this lasagna. I know a lot of people prefer nothing but meat and cheese and sauce, and some want theirs meatless with no veggies, or tons of veggies. But, whenever I have lasagna I have tons of veggies and tons of meat. No scrimping here.

I'll be back in a day or two for another post and I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. It was gorgeous here despite the mountaineer loss. Vote in my Halloween poll! Only 2 weeks left! Leave a comment and share! Have a happy Monday everyone!

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