Friday, November 11, 2011

Lasagna

I had posted this recipe before, but I recently had to make alot for a church dinner the other night, and I tweaked my recipe a bit, this was actually some of the best lasagna I had ever made!
I love lasagna! This recipe is a couple of recipes combined... I took what I liked about both of them. I really don't like lasagna made with cottage cheese so I use part skim ricotta.
Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. Johnsonville Italian sausage links (hot or mild)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans (15 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
1 (6oz) can tomato paste 
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 -15 ounce carton of ricotta cheese (I use the part skim kind)
1 egg
1/4 cup, (heaping) Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Salt (more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (8 oz) package lasagna noodles (9 to 12 noodles depending on how big your pan is)
2 1/2 cups or more grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Remove sausage from casings. In a large frying pan cook and stir ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off grease.
Stir in tomatos, tomato sauce, tomato paste,  parsley, sugar, salt, basil and oregano. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about an hour.
While sauce is cooking, cook lasagna noodles according to the directions on package. Drain and lay out flat on a piece of wax paper until ready to use.
In a large bowl combine the ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper together until all ingredients is incorporated. I taste and add more salt if necessary.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a lasagna pan, spoon about a cup of the sauce into the bottom of pan, lay 3 or 4 noodles on top of the sauce. Carefully spread 1/2 of your Ricotta mixture over the noodles (I drop by spoonfuls around on my noodles and then spread into a layer with a knife or spatula). Then sprinkle about 1 cup Mozzarella cheese over the Ricotta. Next, spoon 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the cheeses. Repeat another layer just like that starting with noodles and ending with meat sauce. Top with the remaining noodles,then last of your sauce (If your lasagna pan is on the small side and you have leftover sauce, keep it warm in a sauce pan and use as desired on individual servings). Sprinkle a little more mozzarella cheese on top, and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (so your cheese doesn't stick) and cook in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes until hot and bubbly and cheese is melty.
Serve with salad and Crusty french bread!! Yummo!!!

For Variation:
Try using Zucchini instead of pasta!! I did and it was yummy! I had about 6 zucchini (they were about 8 inches long and 2 inches around, the biggest I could find at the store) Wash and slice into about 1/4 in strips lengthwise. Lay flat on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (this way they are tender and some of the water cooks out) Assemble like the lasagna recipe except place your zucchini around to make a layer instead of the noodles and I only did two layers of zucchini... I left off the top layer, so it went meat sauce, zucchini, cheese mixture, meat sauce, repeat that one more time, and then  top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake the same as the above recipe.YUM

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