Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Foodie Tip: Lasagna

Like clockwork I crave lasagna every 20 months.

Lasagna was one of the very first dishes I experimented with when I started to dabble in the kitchen. Even though it took longer to clean up my mess than it did to cook and eat the sloppy meal, I was drawn by the repetition and method of literally building layers of flavor...noodle by noodle. Perhaps a silly lasagna was the first dish that really tapped into my love of cooking.

Enduring complex methods to yield a simple flavor profile is the exact opposite of my food philosophy today and consequently my love of lasagna has morphed to include variations like Crispy Duck Lasagna, Sauteed Leeks and Carrots, Pomegranate, and Hoisin Glaze.

And yes, I do maintain my morphed version is much easier to make than the classic...
but every 20 months or so I go back to my roots. Over the years I have decided that the recipe below is the best version of lasagna to feed a basic craving.
Enjoy! I did last night and I am sure I will again in November 2010!

Simple Cheese Lasagna

15 oz hand dipped ricotta cheese (1 3/4 C)

2 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 C torn fresh basil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Salt and Pepper

6 C. Tomato Sauce (recipe below)

12 Barilla no-boil Lasagna noodles

1lb whole milk mozzarella

Mix the ricotta, 1 C Parmesan, basil, egg, salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 C sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Drop 3T ricotta down the center of each noodle, then spread to an even thickness. Sprinkle evenly with 1 C mozzarella. Spoon 1 1/2 C over the cheese. Repeat this layering two more times. For the final layer, place the three remaining noodles on top. Spread remaining sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and remaining 1/4 C Parmesan. Spray a large sheet of foil with vegetable oil spray and cover the lasagna. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until cheese is browned and the sauce bubbles about 25 minutes longer. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Chunky Tomato Sauce for Lasagna

1T olive oil

1 onion, minced


6 cloves garlic minced

1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes

1/4 t dried oregano

1/8t red pepper flakes

8 basil leaves torn


Saute the onion and 1t salt in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, and basil. Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Mary said...

looks good, I may give it a try

how is emma's toe/foot

Penny said...

Any leftovers????

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