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Lasagna

I was 18 when I married a college baseball team. Yes... when you are the only student with a kitchen, you inherit the whole team when your husband is a beloved pitcher and shortstop. Hamburger Helper and jars of spaghetti were easy enough, but other than meals that came ready-made with "here's how to heat this" instructions, I did not know much about cooking. Like most things in my life, I just figured it out a bit here and there. Watched shows, made everything on the back of a can of Campbells, had Mom copy some of her favorite recipe cards, became addicted to reading cookbooks, and even deciphered most of my 2 grandmother's "lies" about ingredients, proportions, etc. (One of these days I'll tell you about the Chicken and Dumplin' Inquisition of 1989 with one Mrs. Laverna Thomas.)

The Lasagna was a work in progress for years and honestly, I brought the struggle upon myself. There was no reason to perfect a lasagne of my own. Because... Stouffer's?? But I worked with a lovely nurse at school, while I was pregnant with the twins, who was Italian, a fabulous cook, and she loved sharing her tips and secrets with me. This recipe is the result of the influences of that sweet lady and my Aunt Corinne who grew up in the South of France.

Don't buy any ingredients for this that use any of the following terms: less, reduced, half, free, etc. If you are going through the trouble of lasagna, buy the good stuff! Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the process - then put it in the fridge, eat something else, and cook the lasagna tomorrow. Trust me... tomorrow knows best when it comes to Lasagna.



Lasagna Ingredients:


  • 1 lb lasagna noodles

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 med onion, chopped - approximately a cup, roughly chopped

  • 3/4 lb ground beef

  • 3/4 lb sausage (Jimmy Dean Sage, if you can find it. If not, Regular works, and just add 1 tsp of rubbed sage to the meat)

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

  • 1 tsp basil

  • 1 tsp of thyme

  • 1 tsp rosemary

  • 1 tbsp parsley

  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup hot water

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1/2 pound mozzarella

  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

  • 1 med zucchini, sliced thin

  • 2 boiled eggs sliced thin

Ricotta Mix Ingredients:


  • 2 eggs beaten

  • 1 pint ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella

  • 1 tsp basil

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon. No less than 1 TBSP


Directions:

  • Cook noodles in salted water - about 5 minutes, Drain

  • Heat oil in a skillet, cook garlic and onion til soft

  • Mix all seasonings

  • Add beef and sausage and cook till crumbly and almost done. If there is more than 2 tbsp of grease in the pan, use a spoon and/or paper towel to remove excess

  • Add seasonings and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring until meat is coated.

  • Add tomato paste, hot water, and wine. Simmer 5 min and set aside.

  • Blend beaten eggs with the other ricotta filling ingredients


In a 13 x 9 pan layer as follows:

  • Noodles

  • Ricotta Mix

  • Meat

  • Noodles

  • Ricotta Mix

  • Meat

  • Boiled Egg slices

  • Noodles

  • Meat

  • Zucchini

  • Cheese

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until the following day.


Next Day:

  • Remove from fridge 30-45 minutes before cooking.

  • Bake at 350 covered for approximately 45 minutes, taking off foil the last 15 minutes. Lasagne is done when bubbly on the sides and the cheese is a golden brown

  • Let stand for 20 minutes before serving

Just a note: Also great with eggplant instead of zucchini. OR... both. Just add the eggplant after the meat on the first round of layers.

 

This blog is a personal collection of my thoughts, wins, losses, memories, and crossroad moments. Almost all of which were hashed out around my kitchen counter and in my journals. If any of it resonates with you and you are ready to free up the hidden badass you ARE right now, I can help. It’s time… Click the link and Let’s chat.

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