Friday, October 24, 2008

Piled High Lasagna

Last night we tried a new lasagna recipe. It's a take on a Rachel Ray recipe, but I tweaked it to our preferences. This recipe also fit into a little challenge I got at Ladies Bible Study on Wednesday. We are studying the Fruit of the Spirit and our challenge was to do something kind for another person...not wait and think about it, but actually do it! The focus was to aim kindness toward our enemies or people we don't prefer, but thankfully, I'm running low in the enemy department. I had to put that disclaimer in for anyone that was there because I actually made this for my sister-in-law! She's not an enemy!

Here's the recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 heaping tsp. dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small carton ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 c. parmesan cheese
  • 2 boxes oven-ready lasagna noodles (use 1 box per loaf pan)
  • 2 cups grated Italian cheese, divided
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Place a large skillet over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Cook the onion and the garlic, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes.
Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high and add the beef to the pan. Cook it through, stirring frequently and breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add the beef stock, tomatoes and basil to the pot and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
While the red sauce is simmering, place riccota cheese, eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix well.
Lightly grease two loaf pans. Ladle about 1 cup of the red sauce into the bottom of the first lined loaf pan. Put down a layer of lasagna noodles, then top them with about a cup of ricotta mixture. Continue building the lasagna, alternating layers of noodle, red sauce, noodle, cheese, until all the noodles are covered. End the lasagna on a layer of red sauce and top it off with the grated Italian cheese. Repeat this process with the other loaf pan and the remaining sauce. (I got seven layers in both pans.)
Cover the pans with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until the noodles are tender and the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes to let the lasagna set. Garnish each slice with fresh parsley.

One pan was the perfect size for our family and the other pan was perfect to give away!