Monday, April 30, 2012

Lasagna!!!

 The cute firefighter really likes lasagna.  He works very hard so I thought he deserved some when he came to visit this past weekend.  My lasagna usually takes three days to make but I did not have time to make that recipe.  Shopping is one of the difficult things for me to do with one hand these days so I had to whip this up from stuff I had on hand. 


 First I browned some ground bacon and pepperoni.


 I had some locally made sausage patties so I used them.  4 hot Italian and 4 sweet Italian.

 They were too hard to break up so when they were done cooking, I pulsed them in the food processor.


 This gave me a nice uniform grind.

 I hardly ever use a food processor but because of the bad paw, I chopped my onion, carrots and celery in it.  Wow!  It worked really well!  I should probably use it more often.  I used one large onion, 4 carrots and 3 stalks of celery.  I sauteed them until they began to soften.

 After returning the meat mixture to the pan with the vegetables, I added salt and pepper, oregano, thyme and granulated garlic.  Taste and adjust seasoning at this point.


 And of course, anchovies.  They bring out the flavor in the meat.


 Add a couple tablespoons of butter to enrich the sauce.



 Add 4 large cans of crushed tomatoes.  This recipe is for a large lasagna.


 Add 2 cans of tomato paste.  Stir it and taste it and add 1 tablespoon of sugar if needed.


 Add 2 packets of Swanson's beef stock concentrate.


 I had some pesto which I had just made so I added about 1/2 cup of it.


 Stir in a bunch of chopped fresh parsley.

 I always spray my pan to keep the lasagna from sticking.


 I used 2 large containers of Ricotta.  To it, I added 4 eggs, 1  1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper and oregano.


 I started the layering with a double row of noodles topped with a layer of mozzarella cheese.  When the lasagna bakes, the cheese melts into the noodles giving the lasagna a solid base.

 I place a layer of pepperoni on top of the cheese and top it with sauce.

 More noodles and a layer of the ricotta mixture.  Then a layer of Provolone, noodles and more sauce.


I always add a layer of very thinly sliced smoky ham.  I used Westphalian ham here.  This adds lots of flavor and you don't even know it is there.  I also like adding a layer of fresh basil.
 I keep layering until I reach the top or run out of ingredients.  Top it off with sauce and a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 325 degrees until it is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.  This took a couple of hours for one this size.


I wish I had remembered to take a photo of it when I served it but that was when the kids arrived and I got caught up in the moment and forgot.  They went home with lots of leftovers!

This is one of the best lasagnas I have ever made.  The old recipe is a goner!