Happy New Year!!!  I missed you all and my beloved Fifteen Spatulas last week, but my week off was well spent vacationing in New Orleans.  I’ll post more about my trip on Wednesday, but I must say, NOLA is quite a wonderful place for people crazy about food (and I fully admit to planning all activities AROUND the food).

Lasagna has some serious comfort food potential, but it needs to be done right.  If the cooking time isn’t timed correctly, you’ll end up with mushy lasagna noodles cooked to hell and back, which can easily ruin the entire thing.  The key is to partially cook the noodles, and let them cook the rest of the way through in the oven.  Here’s how to make my lasagna:

Yield: 1 9×13 pan of lasagna

1 lb box lasagna noodles
1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casing
1/2 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, smashed
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
2 extra large eggs
6 cups marinara sauce
1 lb bag shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese blend

Bring a big pot of water to a boil, and add a generous amount of salt (the water should taste like sea water).  Boil the lasagna noodles in batches (so they don’t stick), for 6 minutes per batch. Remove from the water and lay flat on a baking sheet.

Heat up a skillet over medium high heat, and brown the sausage and ground beef until fully cooked.  There should be enough fat in the sausage to prevent sticking, but if you feel you need to, you can add some olive oil before browning the sausage.  Remove the meat from the pan and reserve.

Add the smashed garlic cloves to the pan, and saute for 2 minutes.  Remove the garlic, then add the zucchini to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook the zucchini for a few minutes, until tender and soft, but not mushy.  Add a splash of water to the pan, just to remove all the brown bits leftover from the sausage and take them with your zucchini.

Remove the pan from the heat.

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmigiano reggiano, and eggs.  Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin building your lasagna.  Ladle a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Add the noodles on top, then sprinkle on the meat and zucchini.  Add the mozzarella and provolone cheese, then repeat the process all over again, building several layers.  For the top, end with noodles, sauce, and a sprinkling of cheese.
Cover the pan with foil, and bake for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Anne Burrell’s Lasagna.

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26 Responses to Lasagna

  1. Can’t wait to see where you ate in NOLA. This looks so comforting.

  2. Classic recipe of deliciousness!

  3. Happy New Year. This lasagna looks fantastic. I ought to do my own recipe :D. I don’t even partially cook lasagna sheets, they always cook fine for me. Actually, come to think of it, our cooking method is completely different 😀

  4. magicofspice says:

    New Orleans, what a great place to spend the holidays, looking forward to hearing about it 🙂
    Your lasagna looks amazing and I am with you on partially cooking the noodles versus fully cooking…great tip 🙂
    And Happy New Year!

  5. I love a good lasagna, and this look amazing! Gooey and full of yummy sauce! Glad you had a great vacation.

  6. Wow, this lasagna looks perfect! Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever made traditional lasagna. I’ve made American lasagna, which is quite a bit different. I should probably get around to trying it- and yours looks like perfection!!

  7. Thanks for the tip on the noodles, yours did turn out amazing! I also like that there is zucchini in there-a little healthy ingredient.
    Glad that you enjoyed your stay in NOLA, I really do need to go back there again. Great post!

  8. rsmacaalay says:

    That’s a good lasagne recipe

    Have a happy and prosperous New Year

  9. Just call me Garfield, I love lasagne! I never cook my pasta at all but make my bolognese first (but with a little more liquid) with a bechamel sauce. It seems to be enough to cook the lasagne and keep the pasta nice and al dente. I’m going to try your ricotta, parmesan and egg mix though, that sounds brilliant.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Honestly ? It looks PERFECT !!!! & delicious with all that melted cheese on top , all those scrumptious layers gahhhh I could go on and on 😀 – your pasta fiend follower hee hee

  11. anne says:

    That look amazing & perfectly cooked ! Love that melted cheese on top and all the scrumptious layers and zucchini’s a brilliant addition 😀 Somebody’s drooling on the keyboard hahaha

  12. Nydia says:

    Your lasagna is perfect, I wanted to go inside my computer and in some way bite it.

  13. This is a very good looking lasagna! We had one for Christmas Eve!

  14. Suzi says:

    I love it and it definitely looks delicious. The zucchini is a very nice addition, too. Happy New Year to you.

  15. Ann says:

    This looks just delicious and I’m glad you’re back and had fun in NOLA! I look forward to reading all about it! I, too, plan my activities around my culinary adventures!

  16. Oh my., I think my brain just hears this lasagna calling me to make it one of these days lol. This just looks sooooooooooo good.

  17. A real winter warmer, delicious 🙂

  18. Love the addition of zucchini what a great way to sneak in some extra veggies and minerals for the teenagers and they might not even notice.

  19. Aah, the comfort of a good lasagne.
    🙂 Mandy

  20. I never would have thought to add zucchini to it. I love a good lasagna. I always put mine into two square pans and freeze one before it’s baked. Lasagna is a great freezer meal.

    2 Kids and Tired Cooks

  21. ps. I’m making a version of this tomorrow! 🙂

  22. Pingback: Lasagna « thedrivencook

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