I like lasagna?!

May 18, 2011

Now I’m sure there are a lot of moms out there who’s ‘signature dish’ is lasagna.  My mom isn’t one of them. As far as I can remember, she’s made lasagna once and I don’t remember liking it. I’ve always been a bit picky about my food, but I’ve grown to be a bit more adventurous over the years. (Mom – just in case you’re reading this, I’m sure your lasagna was DELICIOUS, I was just young and stupid!)

To be honest, I was slightly disappointed to hear we would be making lasagna. I’m not sure why the idea of lasagna never appealed to me, I mean I like beef, pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce. How could that not be delicious layered together and baked? The simple answer: It can’t.  The spicy tomato sauce, the melted cheese, the tender beef, I don’t even know how to explain it, it was just amazing. I finally know what I’ve been missing out on… and I’m disappointed in myself for avoiding it all these years.

AMAZING.

Take it from a former lasagna hater, you NEED to try this lasagna. I promise you’ll love it, and its pretty simple to make. If you can do it, so can I.

Here’s how:

Basic Lasagna

 Recipe by: Viv

 Ingredients:

1 recipe tomato sauce (below)

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, more or less

1 pound lasagna noodles

Italian cheese mix, shredded

1 large Ricotta cheese

basil to taste

thyme to taste

1 egg, beaten

garlic, minced

salt, pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Boil and drain noodles.  Brown meat and drain. Add garlic and salt and pepper and simmer. Add sauce and simmer.  Mix ricotta, basil, thyme, and beaten egg.  Layer in large glass dish.  Layer sauce, meat mixture, noodles, ricotta mixture, cheeses, and repeat layers.  Bake until bubbly.

Basic Tomato Sauce

 Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes

zest of one lemon (or 1 teaspoon lemon juice)

Directions:

Combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, this takes just a couple minutes. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don’t want to burn your tongue). If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Stir in the lemon zest reserving a bit to sprinkle on top of your pasta.

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