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World’s Best Lasagna

World's Best LasagnaA few years ago I found World’s Best Lasagna Recipe – Allrecipes.com, I knew it must be good enough to try.  After I made this recipe I knew I would forever make this recipe.  We are not huge fans of red sauce, especially Mr.Picky.  The funny part is that the sauce recipe was almost exactly how I make my spaghetti sauce.

When the special occasion arises to eat lasagna, this is the recipe I make.  I say special occasion for a few reasons lasagna is expensive to make, it makes so much for just our little family, it is incredible rich, and I over eat when I make it so I have to pace myself.

If you want a no fail recipe this is the one.  I have reduced the salt from the original recipe and I will sometimes add a layer of spinach if I have fresh baby spinach on hand.  I have even grated carrots and zucchini up and added it to my sauce with no complaints.  One day I might grate eggplant into it which I think would be wonderful.

I also discovered you cook the sauce in a slow cooker instead and throw together the lasagna a day or two ahead but it is a one dish meal.  I try to serve a good vegetable with it and garlic bread if we have company.  You can also freeze any leftovers and pull it out for a later time.

The recipe calls for a 9 x 13″ baking dish, just be warned it will be full if you are using a 2″ deep pan like most.  I borrow my mother in-laws deep casserole dish usually or I reserve some sauce for a different meal.  Somehow I always end up with way too much sauce, probably because sometimes I use a bigger can of tomato sauce instead of the two small ones.  If you use the exact measurements you should be fine, I know it came out right the first time.  I think I just add this and that and it all adds up to extra.  But two meals for the price of one sounds good to me.  This time I saved aside about 3 cups of extra sauce and threw some frozen meatballs in for meatball subs.

World’s Best lasagna:

  • 1 lb. sweet or spicy Italian sausage
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 oz. can) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz. can) tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 oz. can) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 fennel seed
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 lb. mozzarella, sliced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

 

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Or place it all in a slow cooker and turn to low for about 4 hours.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.   Or use my favorite no boil noodles which to me taste better.  I believe they are 16 noodles to a box and are smaller, so use them all.  You can moisten them by allowing them to sit in water for about 5 minutes before using.  This will insure the noodles will not dry out.

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  If you are putting the lasagna together ahead of time, skip this step.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

First Layer of Lasagna

First Layer of Lasagna

 

Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!



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Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna

This is a family favorite recipe, I remember my mom making this often.  In fact it when Mr.Picky ate this for the first time, became his favorite meal.  I remember making this casserole for him on our 1 year anniversary, and packing the whole pan to the park to eat as a picnic.

It is an easy one dish meal that is quick to put together.  This recipe works great to put together the night before, and put in the oven the next day.  Plus who doesn’t want to use up the crumbs and crushed tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag?

Mexican Lasagna:

  • 4-5 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  •  1 package of taco seasoning or my taco seasoning mix:
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 16 oz. container of sour cream, lite works fine
  • 16 oz. container of cottage cheese, lite works fine
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican blend)

Start by browning up ground beef, once it is almost all brown add in onions, water, and seasonings.  Allow to cook for a minute or two, and add in tomato sauce.  Simmer for 15 minutes and set aside.

In a bowl combine sour cream and cottage cheese until well combined.

Grease a 9×13″ pan lightly, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mexican Lasagna

Layering:

Place a thinly layer of tortilla chips in the bottom (about half the chips).

Next spoon as evenly as you can half of the meat mixture.

On top of that spoon dollops of the white mixture.

Mexican Lasagna

Repeat layers again ending on the white mixture, top with shredded cheese.Mexican Lasagna

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and starting to brown.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving, a bit of salsa goes great on top!

*Variations: sometime I will add a layer of corn or sliced olives just below the shredded cheese.

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