Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ultimate Lasagna

So yesterday was Valentine's Day and I told Jim I'd make him his favorite...lasagna. I found a few recipes online, sent them to him and this is the one he picked. It called for cinnamon, which I was a little hesitant on adding, since I had added it to a meat dish once before and it was horrible. Jim told me to keep the recipe as it was and not change anything. Well it was really good, but you could definitely taste the cinnamon. I think next time I would just leave it out. We also cut the recipe in half since the original uses a 4-inch deep 13x9 pan. I just served this with a salad and some breadsticks.

1 pound dried lasagna noodles
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage - I used the Jennie-O Hot Lean Italian Turkey Style Sausage and removed the casings
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1.5 carrots, chopped
1 stalks celery, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tbsp. chopped oregano leaves
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine
1 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
1.2 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 quart ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
Grated Parmesan and mozzarella, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the lasagna noodles in plenty of boiling salted water until pliable and barely tender, about 10 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Drain the noodles thoroughly and coat with olive oil to keep them moist and easy to work with.

Coat a large skillet with olive oil, add beef and sausage and brown until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a food processor, combine the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, parsley, an oregano. Process until pureed, add to the pan with the ground meat and stir to combine. Stir in the flour. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes and add the heavy cream and the cinnamon.

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta and the parmesan. Stir in the eggs and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the lasagna: Coat the bottom of a deep 13 by 9-inch pan with olive oil. Arrange 4 noodles lengthwise in a slightly overlapping layer on the sauce. Then, line each end of the pan with a lasagna noodle. This forms a collar that holds in the corners. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the pasta, spread to the edges with a spatula. Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture over the ricotta. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on top of the ricotta. Top with a ladle full of sauce, spread evenly. Repeat with the next layer of noodles, ricotta, sauce, and cheeses. Top last layer with noodles, sauce, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Tap the pan to force out air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Let lasagna rest for 30 minutes so the noodles will settle and cut easily.

1 comment:

Taryn said...

looks great. we love lasagna at our house too!