Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Cooking - Lasagne

Doing a lasagne mid-summer is doable, but less fun - but now we approach the cool months, and as soon as I can find a large enough group so I'm not noshing on aging lasagne for a month...


1-1/2 c Olive Oil
1 lb Lean Ground Beef or Bison
1 lb Medium Italian Sausage
1 Onion, Finely Chopped (1/8” or less)
3 Bulbs (not cloves) Garlic, Finely Chopped
2 cans, 28 Oz ea. Crushed Tomatoes
1 can, 8 Oz. Tomato Sauce
1 can, 8 Oz. Tomato Paste
Tabasco Sauce
Chili Powder

3 tsp Basil
3 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
15-25 Lasagne Noodles (Depends on your pan)
1 container (15 Oz.) Ricotta Cheese
½ c. Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese
1 to 1 ½ c. Freshly Minced Parsely
1 egg
1 ½ lbs Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

If Italian Sausage is fresh, freeze it. Once frozen, take out and slice each sausage twice lengthwise, quartering it along the length of the sausage. Cut each quarter in ¼” thick slices, and place in bowl.

Heat Olive Oil (I prefer Extra Virgin) in large wide saucepan; add the ground beef (or bison), the Italian sausage, half the onion, and half the garlic. Saute, stirring regularly, until the meat browns (10-12 minutes)…should have a strong onion – garlic scent.

Once the meat is browned, transfer contents to a 6+ quart kettle, place on a low to medium heat, and add the crushed tomato’s, the tomato sauce, and the tomato paste. Stir well. Now add the basil, oregano, and ½ of the remaining garlic and onions. Add 4 shakes of Tabasco, a handful of chili powder, and salt and pepper. Stir THOROUGHLY and taste. Add spices as needed. Remember, with this sauce if you can’t see the spices, you’re doing something wrong. Simmer for 3-4 hours over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Add remaining onion and garlic as needed – feel free to mince and add more if you believe it will help.

Finely mince fresh parsley (leaf only, leave the stems for the rabbits) until you have about a cup to a cup and a half of the stuff. Toss into a clean large bowl with the ricotta, the egg, and the parmesan. Beat mixture together, cover, and place in the refrigerator.

Cook lasagna noodles in plenty of salted boiling water (I usually add a good dose of olive oil to keep them from sticking to each other) until ready. Rinse in cold water until you don’t see the oil coming off them anymore.

Heat oven to 3500F and select a deep baking dish or pan 8x13 or larger. Add enough of the sauce to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Lay down your irst layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Dot the noodles with the ricotta mixture, splash liberally with the red sauce, and sprinkle a layer of mozzarella across the top. Repeat this process as needed till the next to last layer of noodles. Add all remaining ricotta mixture, cover thoroughly with sauce and Mozzarella, add a final layer of noodles, cover with wsauce, then thoroughly cover with Mozzarella (you shouldn’t be able to see the sauce).

Bake lasagna for 45-50 minutes in your pre-heated 3500F oven. The top should be a golden brown when completed.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

I'll have to give it a try, it IS getting to be that time of year!