Noon Foodiness: Lasagna

According to the Man, tonight's lasagna was a roaring success. And as promised, the recipe will follow.

(What do you mean "tonight"? I do these things in advance, goofy. If I actually posted blogs at the time I wrote them, they'd all post at 11 p.m. and nobody would read them.)

Before I get to the details, though... many thanks to my dear friend Stephen Reksten, whose lasagna pan was the first wedding gift we opened. Finally I got to use it for its actual purpose! Om nom nom.

For the record, this recipe was compiled from three different recipes I found on Pinterest. If you have suggestions, please share them in the comments! The only downside: It made a GIANT lasagna and Boy is with his father for Christmas this year, so we will be eating lasagna for days.

Notes: I was out of ground beef, so I used all sausage. Man did not mind. Also, I only used one container of ricotta cheese, but that wasn't quite enough for three layers, so in the future I will use two.

LASAGNA

1 lb. Italian sausage
2 lbs. ground beef
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c. minced onion
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
4 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
2 containers ricotta cheese
4 c. (or more) mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. lasagna noodles
1 can parmesan
salt, olive oil, Italian seasoning and oregano

Brown ground beef and sausage with garlic and onion. Drain half the excess fat (all if you're really health-conscious, in which case, why are you making lasagna?). Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tbsp. parsley, basil and salt. (I added Italian seasoning for extra flavor.) Simmer for 20-30 mins. while working on other steps.

Fill large pot with water and add salt and olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Bring to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook to al dente (almost but not quite done). If the pot isn't quite deep enough, wait a few minutes and stir gently; the softened noodles should slide into the water.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta with 1/2 c. parmesan, 2 tbsp. parsley and 1 tsp. salt. Mix well with fork and set aside.

Once all ingredients are ready, assemble in lasagna pan. Start with a scattering of parmesan cheese. Layer noodles, overlapping slightly; if there is a space on the end, layer an extra noodle. Spread ricotta mixture, then meat, then 2 c. mozzarella and another scattering of parmesan. Repeat: noodles, ricotta, meat, mozzarella, parmesan. If there is enough meat, add a third layer. Top with a dusting of oregano.

Cover pan with foil and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 mins. until the top is hot and bubbly.

You can also freeze it, or set it aside in the fridge for up to two days. Buon appetito!

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