LASAGNA

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1 pkg 16 ounces lasagna noodles
1 pkg 16 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
2 lb container of ricotta cheese
6 to 8 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 lb. ground veal
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sweet sausage, diced small
1 cup marinara sauce

1. Prepare lasagna noodles according to package. Use a drop of oil in water to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Cook 1 to 2 minutes less than the directions, so the noodles are not too soft. Run noodles under cold water immediately after draining them. Spread out long sheets of wax paper. Lay the noodles side by side until no room left on sheet. Then place a sheet of wax paper on top and continue until all noodles are used. This will prevent them from sticking to one another.
2. Mix in a bowl mozzarella, ricotta and chopped parsley. (I use whole milk, or part skim ricotta and mozzarella. Never use the no-fat kind, my friend did and the taste was terrible. Sorry, but some recipes cannot take no- fat and this is one of them.) Set aside.
3. In a large frying pan, add ground veal with diced sausages and garlic and cook thoroughly. Then add 1 cup of the marinara sauce to the meat mixture and continue cooking on a low flame till simmering. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off and set aside.
4. Oven 375 degrees
5. In a 9 x 13 x 2 oven baking pan, spoon marinara sauce on the bottom.
6. Lay one noodle at a time over the marinara sauce. Spoon the cheese mixture onto the entire noodle. Begin at one end of the lasagna noodle and spread the cheese to cover the entire noodle. Continue until a layer of noodles covers the entire bottom of the pan. Spoon the meat mixture over the ricotta cheese mixture and then spoon some of the marinara sauce to fill in some spots till the layer is covered. Add a layer of lasagna noodles over this and start the routine again, noodles, cheese, meat and then sauce.
7. You should end with noodles when you get to the top of the pan. For the last layer of noodles, add just marinara sauce and then cover. Some people sprinkle mozzarella as the last layer but I don’t. Whatever you prefer.
8. (You may need to use another pan, sometimes it comes to 1 and ½ pans of lasagna)
9. Cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
10. Remove cover and bake for 10 minutes longer.
11. Makes about 12 servings. Serve with bread and salad.
ENJOY – Mangiare Lasagna!!…..

So who doesn’t love lasagna? My family and I are passionate about our love for this hearty pasta dish. While it’s not difficult to make, it takes some time and patience to make memorable lasagna. I recently read about a cook who makes it with tomato soup. Don’t read any further if you’re easily offended, but to me that’s same as serving spaghetti out of a can. It would never fly in my home! OK, let me be a little more open minded…. in all my years talking food, I have never heard of that but it doesn’t mean that somewhere, somebody else’s mom didn’t run out of spaghetti sauce in the middle of cooking and tried adding tomato soup as a substitute. Perhaps that cook was exhausted and used tomato soup as a substitute for sauce. We all have stories like that. The one thing that can never be substituted in lasagna is the ricotta and mozzarella.

All my friends try to watch what they eat and in doing so they substitute ingredients in recipes by using fat free. You know what that means, fat free, taste free. The whole dynamic of the recipe changes into something else. A few years ago, my friend, Mela, was at my house for dinner. I served my lasagna. She raved at how good it tasted. Mela had been making lasagna for quite awhile using fat free substitutes for the ricotta and mozzarella. When she tasted the real deal, she realized what she had been missing all this time, good taste!

So, try my mom made, real, whole milk cheese recipe and be prepared for lasagna that is guaranteed to put a smile on a lotta faces!

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