Lasagne

lasagne 9

There is a lot of arguement as to whether or not lasagne is a British dish or an Italian one.  The arguement is founded in that the first printed recipe for this yummy dish was in the first cookbook ever printed from England, published in 1390.  The problem is that none of the standard ingredients are native to Britain and would have had to have been imported from – you guessed it, Italy.  Also, Marco Polo mentioned the dish in a transcription written in 1281; he was Italian.  And add in the fact that ricotta, parmigiano and mozzarella cheeses call Italy home – we’ll concur that this is an Italian masterpiece.

I’ve tried a lot of lasagne recipes and have come up with my own version that is pretty damn good, if I say so myself.  I avoid the besciamella and Bolognese sauces, using my own which is based on carrettiera sauce with some little twists and turns along the way.  Some people use cottage cheese, but I will tell you it is no substitute for ricotta.  A lot of Italian chefs say to use either garlic or onions, never both, but I disagree on that too.

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound pork sausage
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
8 ounces tomato paste
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Tablespoon oregano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon basil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
9 – 10 lasagne strips

Directions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, brown beef and sausage together, blending well.
  • Add in onion, garlic and parsley.
  • Drain once meat is browned.
  • Reduce to low heat and add tomato paste and tomatoes.
  • Stir in olive oil, basil and oregano.  Add bay leaf and cover, allowing to simmer for twenty minutes.
  • Bring water to boil for lasagne.
  • In a large mixing bowl, blend ricotta and eggs.
  • Grate 1 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan into ricotta mixture.
  • Add in nutmeg and stir thoroughly.
  • In a 13 x 9 oven safe casserole dish, spread two cups of meat sauce mixture.
  • Lay three lasagne strips across meat.
  • Cover with two cups of ricotta mixture.
  • Top with three more strips of lasagne pasta.
  • Reserve one cup of meat mixture aside, spread all rest of meat sauce over pasta.
  • Spoon all remaining ricotta mixture over pasta.
  • Top with last three lasagne strips.
  • Cover with remaining meat sauce.
  • Grate 1 cup mozzarella and spread over meat.
  • Bake uncovered in oven at 250 degrees F for two to three hours.
  • Serve.

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lasagne 7

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