Monday, January 29, 2007

Lasagna

Saturday I craved lasagna, and since I was off the gluten-free experiment was able to make my regular lasagna. I'm afraid tho I didn't get any pictures this time around, maybe next time.

Normally I take two days to make lasagna as I like to make the sacue the first day and give it a chance for the flavors to meld overnight in the refrgerator, but I wanted lasagna that night.

So we popped out to the store to pick up what I needed, but didn't have on hand. At Winco I discoverd they sell whole milk ricotta cheese, so I did a happy dance in the aisle and bought a container. Whole milk ricotta has a much creamier tecture and taste and it is MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

I also picked up some large curd cottage cheese, noodles, tomato sauce and some shredded medium cheddar cheese. The rest of the ingredients I had at home.

Got home and decided I was going to make a big pot of sauce so I could stash some extra in the freezer. I browned about 3 lbs of ground beef and drained it. I added some chopped onions and 2 good heaping tablespoons of minced garlic and let those cook a bit with the burger. I then added some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and then started adding the tomatos sauce. I used 4 regular sized cans and added a quart of tomatos I'd grown this last summer, purred and froze. I also crumbled up some of the sliced and dehydrated tomatos. A goodly splash of Trader Joe's 10 year old basalmic vinegar and I turned the heat to low and let it all simmer a few hours.

When it was time to assemble the lasagna, I put a pot of water on to boil and once that got goin, tossed the lasagna noodles in to parboil. While that was going, I mixed the ricotta and the large curd cottage cheese together. I find that straight ricotta, while tasty, is too dry for my tastes in lasagna. So I mix the two (straight cottage cheese with no ricotta is too runny). I then drained the noodles and got ready to build.

I sprayed the baking dish with spray pam, pre-heated the oven to 350 and then layed down the first layer. noodles first, then sauce, then ricotta/cottage cheese, mozzarella and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Repeat 2 more times and then place baking dish on a cookiw sheet and pop into the oven.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. The top should be nicely browned and everything should be bubbly hot. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, then dish up and serve with a nice green salad, come yummy garlic bread and the beverage of your choice.

The lasagna is even better the next day (assuming you have leftovers in the first place) and re-heat nicely in the microwave.
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