Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 33 - Classic Lasagna

Lasagna, red grapes, sugar snap peas.

Mmmmmm, lasagna!  Last night was a definite Sunday-night-lasagna kind of dinner, so today was a leftover-lasagna kind of lunch!

It's sort of funny looking, you might say.  Well, that's because those are super thin slices turned on their sides.  Not only was the actual lasagna too tall to fit upright in my container, but the thinness makes it microwave easier.  So, that's why it's funny looking. :)

I have the benefit of having a great farmer's market with fresh pasta, sauce better than I can make myself, and lots of meat options.  You may not be so lucky, but the recipe below allows for a lot of exceptions.  I would make sure to do at least half and half beef/pork, if you can - beef is the more traditional flavor, but the pork sausage gives it great flavor and texture.

It looks complicated, but I promise once you get used to this recipe you'll breeze through it!

Classic Lasagna

1/3 lb ground beef
1/3 lb ground pork
1/3 lb ground spicy pork sausage
1 onion,  chopped
8 oz  fresh  mushrooms, chopped
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
32 oz marinara or spaghetti sauce (store bought or homemade)
1pkg lasagna noodles, cooked or fresh
16 oz ricotta cheese (go for the expensive stuff - makes all the difference)
16 oz fresh mozzarella

Brown meats in a large skillet; drain when browned.  Stir in onion and mushrooms, cooking on medium heat until tender.  Pour in tomatoes and tomato sauce, stirring occasionally, and heat until bubbling gently.

In a 9x13 greased casserole dish, spread about 1 cup of the sauce (this helps keep the bottom layer of pasta from sticking).  Make one layer of pasta.  Spread half of the riccotta on top.  Then add about 1/3 of the remaining sauce.  Repeat pasta-ricotta-sauce layer.  Add one more layer of pasta and pour remaining sauce over.

Slice mozzarella into thin pieces and layer over the top of the casserole.
They even sell fresh mozzarella in logs for easy slicing.  Some people think of everything!

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray on one side.  Place greased side down on casserole dish to cover.  Bake at 375F for 45 minutes.  Let cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Enjoy!

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