Sunday, January 24, 2016

LA - SA -GNA



Hi friends!
 I had been wanting to try my hand at lasagna for the past couple of months and never got around to it. I really wanted to make it on Christmas, but I was clearly not thinking ahead and waiting until Christmas Day to get up and go to the grocery store. Low and behold everything is closed on Christmas Day, so I was SOL. I never made lasagna and ya'll I struggled! There are literally 1000 different versions of lasagna online, and anyone that I knew that knows how to make it, their recipes were all 100% different. So.....I decided to wing it.

Ingredients:

1 box Lasagna Noodles (Uncooked)
1lb. Ground Beef
1 Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 large bottle of Tomato Sauce (Ragu will do, or canned)
Oregano
Basil 
Sugar
Hot Sauce
Salt n' Pepper
1 container of Ricotta Cheese (Whole Milk)
1 bag of Mozzarella Cheese 
Parmesean Cheese

Let's get crackin.

To start I turned my skillet on medium heat and waited for it to get hot. I added my ground beef, chopped up 1/4 of an onion, and 3 garlic cloves in one large skillet. Cook until the pink is gone, and drain. This recipe can be modified and ground turkey can be used, which means little to no grease...but I wasn't shooting for healthy so I went with the ground beef. Careful when draining, I just put the top of the skillet on, poured the access grease into a bowl and set aside. Put the skillet back on your heat, as now you'll be adding your sauce.



Add the entire jar of tomato sauce and mix throughout. Turn your heat down to an almost simmer, as we'll want to simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes. After adding your sauce, mix in generous amounts of oregano, basil, pepper, and a little salt. I also add a generous amount of sugar, about 2 tbsp. and a couple of squirts of hot sauce. I like my tomato sauce to be on the sweeter side, with a little kick. I tend not to measure too much at this point, as I make the sauce based on how it taste. If you like your tomato sauce a little more on the tangy side don't add as much sugar/hot sauce. However if you do, taste your sauce and carefully continue to add your sugar and hot sauce to your liking.



Once your sauce is perfect, start boiling your lasagna noodles. I knew I was only doing 3 layers, so  would only need 9 noodles, however I made ten just in case I messed one up. Boil your noddles to your liking, I like mines to be to the point where if I were to poke a fork through one, the fork would go straight through with no type of force. I boiled my noodles about 10 - 12 minutes, and drained under cold water.


In a separate bowl add the entire container of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and stir. I also added 1 egg, as this gave my mixture a little more consistency, and more movement when it came time for me to layer in my baking dish. Mix until you no longer can see the egg, and set aside.

Now for the fun part :)

First, pat yourself on the back because you're almost there! This being my first lasagna I was getting flustered at this point so keep up the great work! Or, you can always pour yourself a drink.

Now, grab your baking dish. Obviously your ingredients will either increase or decrease based on how big your dish is. I used a medium sized dish, that was deep enough for me to layer each mixture 3 times ( sauce, noodle, ricotta). First, the bottom layer of your dish should be the meat sauce. Spread until the entire bottom of the dish is covered. Next layer with your noodles, I added 3 noodles for each layer. On top of your noodles, spread your cheese mixture. I spread so that all of my noodles and meat mixture was covered. It'll get a little messy, but keep going. Repeat your layers 2 more times, meat, noodles, ricotta mix, meat, noodles, ricotta mix. On top of the final layer of ricotta I added a little more of the meat mixture, so that majority of my ricotta was covered. Then, cover the entire top of your lasagna with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese. I also spread a bit more Parmesan over the top as well. 

Cover your dish with aluminum foil. ( Fun trick, I sprayed PAM on the inside of my foil, so that when the cheese melts, when I remove the aluminum foil the cheese will not be stuck to the top of it! )
Bake at 375 for 50 minutes. The last 15 minutes, take your foil off, and bake for the remainder 15 minutes, or until your cheese is golden brown.



Wam. Bam. Thank you ma'am. 

Now I see why people only make this dish around the holidays. Kudos to you ladies that cook this dish for your families on a regular Tuesday night. You're the bomb. :)

Hope you enjoy!

Peace & Love
 

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