Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For the Love of Lasagna!

I made lasagna for the first time in a long time. This is by far one of the best I made. I did it all by scratch, but you could use bottled sauce and achieve the same results. I also added canned mushrooms to the meat layer, but you could leave them out.


  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1-28 oz can of chopped tomatoes, undrained

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 c red wine

  • 1 small can tomato paste

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 T sugar if needed- it depends on your tomatoes

Cheese mixture:

  • 1-15 oz container ricotta

  • 1 small onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 c cottage cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1/2 c pepperoni slices


  • 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

  • 12 lasagna noodles

  • 1 can mushrooms (optional)

To make the sauce: Start with a medium saucepan and sweat onions in 1 T olive oil and 1-2 T butter. Let them get translucent and start to turn golden in color. Add the garlic, bay leaves, basil, and oregano. Stir them into the onions and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook the tomato paste until darkened in color- about 4-5 minutes. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir all together. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes for the flavors to come together. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. Add sugar if necessary.

To make the cheese mixture: Saute the onions in 1 T butter until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Let the mixture cool a few minutes. Add onions and garlic to the ricotta and cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the meat mixture: Place the pepperoni in the food processor and process until chopped small. Brown the ground beef with the pepperoni in a skillet until no longer pink. Set aside to cool a bit.

Place the 12 lasagna noodles in a dish with hot water to cover for about 40 minutes to one hour until pliable.

In a 8x11 glass dish, start with covering the bottom with a thin layer of sauce. Layer 3 noodles across. Use about 1/2 of the cheese mixture to spread over the noodles. Layer 3 more noodles. Add a thin layer of sauce over the noodles. Add the meat mixture. Add the mushrooms-optional. Add a little more sauce to the meat. Layer 3 more noodles. Spread the remaining 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Layer 3 more noodles. Add a layer of sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and hot.

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