Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ode to the Simple Life

At work last week, Violet and I were chatting and we somehow we got on the subject of lasagna. I had mentioned that it was Lucky’s favorite meal and I realized that I hadn’t made a nice big batch of goodness in quite a while. I had mentioned it to Lucky this morning and he practically throws cash at me saying, “Here, go get some stuff for lasagna.” LOL

I spend the afternoon making a batch and for the first time, I have a helper. We had fun but I’m going to have more fun while I’m eating it!

Erin's Family Lasagna

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
½ tsp Salt and pepper
29 oz and 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
3.8 oz can sliced black olives
5 Tbs. Sage
5 Tbs. Oregano
5 Tbs. Italian seasoning
24 oz grated mozzarella cheese
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 large egg
¾ box of lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350*. Prepare lasagna noodles as recommended on the back of the box. In a separate large pot, heat olive oil and add the onions and garlic. Sauté until they begin to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and break it up until they are in tiny pieces. Normally for spaghetti we would leave the beef chunks a little larger but for lasagna we want them to be small. Once the beef is cooked, strain the onion/beef mixture in a strainer to get rid of the excess oil. Return mixture to the pan and add the salt, pepper, tomato sauce, olives, and 3-4 tbs of all three spices. Turn burner down to low and let sauce simmer.

Prepare ricotta cheese mixture in a separate bowl. Mix together ricotta cheese, egg, and the rest of the seasoning.
Spray cooking spray into a 9”x13” casserole pan to ensure the noodles don’t stick after cooking. Begin by layering some lasagna noodles to cover the entire bottom of the pan. (I spread a tiny bit of sauce before the first layer of lasagna noodles for that little extra non-stick insurance but not necessary.)
Add 5-6 dollops of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly on top of the noodles. Add about 1/3 of the sauce and then layer with about 1 ½ cups of grated mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layering process, beginning with the noodles, three more times until the pan is full. On the very top I sprinkled a little bit of grated parmesan cheese that I had in the fridge to complete the dish.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven until the sauce and cheese start to bubble, approximately 45 minutes.
While we were waiting Kate went and got her Barbie, Barbie's protective dinosaur, and her Barbie magazine. Yes, there is such a thing as a Barbie magazine...
After the 45 minutes is up, take off the foil, turn on the broiler, and watch carefully as the top cheese layer becomes golden brown.
Take the lasagna out and let it rest for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, if you’re going to make some buttered bread (with or without garlic) now is your chance to pop it in the oven. Make sure that the oven temp is off the broil and back at 350*. Please, LEARN from my mistakes. :) Bake bread until it is heated through and the outside is slightly crispy.

Add a side salad and enjoy!


Jacqui said...

I am SOOOO making lasagna! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

campblsoupgrl said...

haha, anytime!