Friday, October 28, 2011

Lasagne



I think we can all admit...it's the season to change a few our our cooking routines. I sort of like the thought of cleaning up the BBQ and letting the garden take care of itself for the winter months, meanwhile we can cook up some of those warm comfort foods that remind us of the cooler days to come. Today I want to share with you our favorite lasagne dish, which brings comfort on any cold rainy, snowy day. This recipe takes a bit more effort, but if you make it in advance, you have the rest of the day to relax.

Lasagne
  • one pound farmer sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1  (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6 oz.) canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs[.salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna, oven ready.
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Method:
  1. In a large Dutch oven, cook chopped sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, paste, sauce and water.
  3. Season with sugar, basil fennel seeds, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. parsley.
  4. Simmer covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg and remaining parsley and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Assemble: spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  8. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.
  9. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
  10. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.
  11. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  12. Optional; Cover with foil to prevent sticking or spray foil with cooking spray.  Make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.  I usually do not cover mine with any anything.
  13. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until all the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  14. Bake it longer 45-60 minutes if lasagne has been refrigerated for a few hours.  Bake until heated and cheese has melted on top.
It's easy to make in advance, up to a day or two, and warm it up as family or company arrives on the door step.  Complement it with your favorite salad and  my favorite bun recipe.

    10 comments:

    1. I'm from Bologna and this Italian town is famous for tortellini and lasagne... my granny taught me how to make homemade lasagne and I always love them ..even because I think to my granny.

      Your lasagne must be delicious!!!

      HAve a blessed weekend, hugs, Flavia

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    2. I love the different spices in this - I bet the fennel makes a lovely flavour addition. Adding the farmer sausage will appeal to my boys who think bacon or farmer sausage improves every dish.

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    3. A lot of MGCC recipes refer to farmer sausage. Does this mean home-made sausage from slaughtered pigs, or what is it? What is another substitute?

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    4. HI MARG. lOVE YOUR LASAGNE,,,NOW DID YOU MEAN TO PUT 6 sheets down at the bottom and the 6 AT THE END: IT DOES LOOK YUMMMMM:

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    5. I made this today it was so good will put some in the freezer for another day I also made the rolls talk about good and they make alot

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    6. This website has the same exact recipe I made it last night
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Worlds-Best-Lasagna/detail.aspx
      That's so odd!???

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Hi,

      Thank-you for your comments and questions.

      Farmer sausage is generally made from pork or beef, which has been smoked. We have several farmer markets that specialize in making their own smoked sausage, which has become a real favorite.

      Lasagne is a layered dish of various meats, noodles, and cheeses. My first layer is the meat sauce, then I layer it with the lasagne noodles. Each noodle is about 3 inches wide and 9 inches long. So I make sure that the meat sauce is completely layered with the noodles, then layer it with the ricotta cheese mixture and layer it next with the mozzarella cheese and then repeat the steps beginning with meat sauce, noodles, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese again.
      This would be a great tutorial exercise for me.
      I tasted this recipe at a friend's house a while back and fell in love with it, so I tweaked it by using farmer sausage.

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    9. I am a big lasagna fan, and I really enjoyed this one last night. I think that I might make this meat sauce and serve it over pasta some time. I made the recipe exactly as it is written. It makes a full 9 x 13 pan, exactly.

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    10. Yum! We had this for dinner this evening and we were all impressed! I've been looking for a good lasagne recipe for a long time. Will definitely make this again! I had to omit the fennel seed though as I didn't have any on hand, but I would like to try it with it next time and compare.

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