Best Lasagna – Roasted Garlic

Amanda's Lasagna

Prep Time:  This took me all day, but it was fun.

Ingredients (approx):

  • Lasagna pasta
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. hot sausage
  • tomato paste or marinara sauce
  • two onions
  • green pepper
  • red pepper
  • carrot
  • two cloves of garlic (roasted)
  • baby bella mushrooms (1 package)
  • spinach (1 package)
  • fresh mozzarella (two packages)
  • parmigiano reggiano
  • oregano
  • black pepper
  • tomato paste
  • cream cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • sofrito and recaito (not the end of the world)
  • milk and red wine (optional)

Roast two whole cloves of garlic and make sure to add plenty of olive oil 🙂  (Just in case here is a how to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC84XjFI14A) Takes about an hour.

Chop one green pepper, one red pepper, two medium onions, and grate a medium carrot.

Pour olive oil from roasted garlic in a large saucepan and heat on medium low heat.  Add the peppers, onions, and carrot and cover.  Cook until onions are almost translucent.  Add chopped mushrooms.

In a separate pot, brown hot sausage and ground beef.  Drain well.  Add some sofrito and recaito to taste (if you can find them, usually in the ethnic or Latin food section, maybe frozen section too.  I use this in almost any ground beef I cook).  Add browned ground meat to chopped veggies.  You can add a little whole milk until it dissolves and then add a little red wine until the alcohol smell dissipates too if you would like.  Sprinkle in some oregano and black pepper to taste.

Start to boil some water with salt in a very large pot for your pasta.

In a separate sauce pan, add a package of cream cheese and a can of tomato paste (or two if you want.  You can also reserve enough to coat the bottom of your baking dish instead of using the meat sauce) and whisk until cream cheese liquifies.  Whisk in your roasted garlic until it is all combined.  Add to meat and veggie mixture.  Let that simmer on low while you chop a whole bag of spinach.

I wilted on my spinach in a big wok and then poured in my ricotta cheese until it was all mixed together.

Put your lasagne in your water and parboil for 3 minutes less than what the directions say.  Make sure to add a little olive oil so your pasta doesn’t stick together.

I like to get a package of fresh mozzarella and shred it or crumple it up.  Two packages would taste amazing, but I didn’t want mine to be too heavy this time.  12 to 16 ounces would probably be perfect.

So, I rubbed butter all over my baking dish and then put some of my tomato sauce to cover the bottom to help the pasta finish cooking and not stick.  Put a layer of pasta down, then one third of your meat sauce, then sprinkle with a third of your mozzarella. Then do your layer of ricotta and spinach.  Then do more pasta, another third of your meat sauce, another third of your mozzarella, and then pasta again.  Now do the remaining meat sauce and then mozzarella, but make sure that the top layer of noodles is completely covered (or else it will become really too hard and be so crunchy you can’t really eat it…learned that the hard way).  Then grate some good parmigiano reggiano  to cover the top of your dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or so until sauce is bubbly and top is golden brown.  If top still isn’t golden brown, turn heat up to 450 for about 5 minutes and move up to highest shelf possible.

Take out of oven and let set for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Next time I might add a chopped up fresh tomato and even a little minced jalapeno 🙂

Enjoy!

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