Posts Tagged Italian

FIRST LASAGNA

14 November 2009
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped gourmet sausage (I use Chicken and Apple Sausages)
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 cups tomato juice (I used fresh squeezed)
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed (I use a coffee mill)
1 tbs. oregano
1 tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 cups Ricotta Cheese (12 – 16 oz)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
4 cups shredded mozzarella (1 lb.)
12 lasagna noodles

1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown beef.  Drain and set aside.  Return pan to heat, and cook onion until translucent.  Add sausage, and saute until cooked through.

2. Return beef to pan with sausage/onion mixture, and add tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato paste, garlic, basil, fennel, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil, then simmer on low heat for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

I used tomato juice left over from a recipe I made earlier in the week


3. If using “No Boil” noodles, skip this step! Boil a large pot of salted water, add noodles and cook until al dente (8 – 10 minutes).  Drain and rinse noodles – using cold water. Place on wax paper until ready to use.

4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 tsp. salt, and Parmesan cheese.

5. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spread 1 cup tomato sauce.  Cover with 4 noodles (you’ll want to over lap them a little, but don’t worry about any gaps on the edges). Cover these noodles with about a third of the remain sauce, and top with Mozzarella cheese.  Next, spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, topped with another layer of 4 noodles.  Spread another layer of tomato sauce, followed by the remaining ricotta, and a layer of cheese. Top with one more layer of noodles followed by tomato sauce and mozzarella.

6. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover with foil (spray with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking), and bake in a preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  Remove foil, and cook for an additional 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Allow to cool for 10 -15 minutes before serving.