Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meat lasagne

This requires a little bit of work, but it's totally worth it. The sauce is better if allowed to sit overnight and when prepared with low-fat beef and my favorite local farm's homemade hot Italian sausage. This dish is like a pizza casserole, and while I preferred the sauce on rotini pasta, my husband loved the pizza-style layered version.

10 large lasagna noodles
1 lb Italian sausage
1 lb ground beef
2 yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
16 oz tomato sauce
8 oz tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
0.5 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp oregano
1-2 tsp salt
0.25 tsp black pepper
0.25 cup chopped fresh parsley
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
0.25 tsp nutmeg
0.75 lb shredded mozzarella
0.75 cup grated Parmesan

In a food processor process the onion and the garlic into a paste. In a large pot brown the sausage and the beef. After 5 minutes add the onion and garlic paste.

Add the canned tomatoes, sugar, salt, oregano and fennel. Simmer for 90 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

Add in the fresh basil, half of the fresh parsley and turn off heat. Allow to rest overnight.

Mix the ricotta with the egg and the remaining fresh parsley, nutmeg and 0.5 tsp salt.

Boil the noodles according to package directions. Take a large lasange pan and add 1.5 cup of the meat sauce to the bottom. Cover with noodles. Spread on one half of the ricotta mixture. Top with a third of the mozzarella, Spread on 2 cups of meat sauce and sprinkle with a third of the Parmesan.

Add the next layer of pasta, then half of the ricotta, topped with a third of the mozzarella, 2 cups of the meat sauce and then the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover the lasagne with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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