I recently joined My Kitchen My World group - where we make a dish once a week (participate at least twice a month) from another country. The most recent week was home! Now some people will say Lasagna is not American - but in our home, its a favorite of Grumpy's so this is my post for MKMW - as Lasagna will always be a part of my kitchen and my world forever!
I never make lasagna the same way and me, being me, wanted to "experiment" and make it all from scratch all on my own using the basic knowledge I have about lasagna making. It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself!. I think I would next time add a little more red pepper flakes for a little more heat in the sauce (but that is because I love heat!).
Everyone enjoyed it - Chris, Justin, & Sam (a friend of the boys who came over for dinner with them and my former student worker at work!). Justin was giving me a hard time telling me it was awful....even though he sat there eating it. My kids love to aggravate me - especially Justin! I wonder where on earth they got that trait from? lol). Grumpy enjoyed it and I guess that is what mattered most to me - although he didn't tell me it was mind blowing delicious, he did say it was good. (all of us cooks/bakers want to be told how mind blowingly delicious our food is - just in case you didn't know). At least my kids tell everyone what a great cook their mom is! One of Christopher's friends recently told me that all Chris talks about is making sure he gets home in time for dinner. God love that boy! he he. Chris even called me at work one day to get my blog web address to give his boss at work! My kids are my best promoters!
Here is how I made it - if you try it and like it (or don't) please let me know!
HoneyB's Homemade Pasta Sauce
2 quarts tomatoes (I used home canned tomatoes) with liquid
1/2 green pepper
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon orgeano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon salt (I used sea salt)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
a pinch (or 2 or 3) red pepper flakes
Saute the green pepper and onion in small amount of olive oil. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Add entire can of tomato paste and blend into tomatoes. Simmer uncovered (to thicken). I believe I simmered this about an hour on low. Remove from heat and using hand held blender (I love this tool!) blend sauce until smooth. Set aside to cool.
HoneyB's Sausage, Mushroom & Onion Lasagna
1 lb Italian Sweet Sausage
16 oz package mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
1-1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 lb part skim mozzarella cheese (2/3 shredded, 1/3 thinly sliced)
1 egg, beaten
15 lasagna noodles
HoneyB's Homemade Pasta sauce
Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, I rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, then store in pan with cold water to cover so they do not dry out until I am ready to assemble the lasagna.
Saute the mushrooms, onions, and sausage until sausage is done. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, cottage, Parmesan, and 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the parsley and egg and stir until well blended. Set aside.
Assembling the lasagna:
Spoon some sauce to cover the bottom of the lasagna pan (I use a 9x13 pan). Using 5 lasagna noodles, lay noodles to cover sauce. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over top. Layer 1/2 of the meat mixture over top of the cheese, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and cover with sauce. Repeat layer. For the top layer, spread with last 1/3 of cheese mixture, spread with sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove foil, place slices of mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let set at least 15 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy~