Weekend Lasagna

Boring weekends are the best time to try a new recipe especially if the recipe calls for more preparation time and effort.  So one Saturday with nothing much happening, I planned then purchased all that I needed to try this Lasagna recipe, which I cut into half or God forbid, I’d never want to see a lasagna again.  I do enjoy it every so often but lasagna is not something I ever crave for.  So you’re probably wondering why I’d even bother.  I got a box of lasagna as a gift las Christmas so what else do I do with it?   😛  It’s a  good time too to use up the left over Marinara Sauce, which I believe came out well with this recipe. There may be quite a few ingredients needed but believe me, this recipe is worth your while.  Even if I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee and used

this interesting new find (substituted this with the crushed tomato the recipe originally called for), and even if I couldn’t find sweet Italian sausages and settled instead for garlic Italian sausages, this lasagna came out truly delish.  For someone who don’t really care much for lasagna, it means a lot to say that I will be making this again.  So here’s my version.

What you need:

  • 250g sweet or garlic Italian sausage
  • 250g ground beef
  • ½ cup sliced mushroom of your choice
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 225g Clara Ole Chunky Tomatoes with Basil
  • 1 250g tomato sauce or this Marinara Sauce recipe
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 320g ricotta cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 500g shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 lasagna sheets

Here’s what you do:

  • Brown the ground beef, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions and garlic in a pot until they start to cook. It takes about 6 to 9 minutes to brown the meat.

  • Gently stir in the tomato chunks, sauce, paste and water.

  • Add the sugar, chopped basil leaves, half of the Italian parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pot and let the meat sauce simmer. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, soak the lasagna sheets in hot tap water for 15 minutes.
  • While the noodles are soaking you can make the cheese filling.

  • In a mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, nutmeg, egg, and the rest of the Italian parsley.

Assembling the lasagna:

  • In a 5”-6” inch baking pan, spread 1 cup meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Remove your lasagna sheets out of the water bath. Shake water off wet sheets.

  • Lay sheets across the layer of sauce. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of sheets. Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer.
  • Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer.  Spread 1 cups meat sauce over the cheese layer.
  • Lay down the next layer of lasagna sheets.

  • Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over the sheets.
  • Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses saving some cheese for the top of the lasagna.
  • Put the last layer of meat sauce on the cheeses.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

  • It should look like the picture above. Cover with foil.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 350 F (177 C) for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  Serves 4-6.

It may be more work than your normal stir-fry but hey, the weekend is free and if you double up the recipe, you have the week ahead to devour this one delish dish.


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