Sunday, January 15, 2012


I love lasagna.  It is the hearty, stick to your ribs kind of food my husband loves, and I love him, therefore I must love lasagna (I say that like I wouldn't love it anyway).  As with most of the food I make, I put lots of vegetables in mine.  I think they make just about anything taste better.  It also makes me feel like I'm evening out the universe since I let my kids eat all sorts of stuff I shouldn't (I am baking apple pie cookies as we speak).

Hearty Lasagna
I think I might suck at taking pictures of casseroles.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground sirloin
1-28 oz. can tomato puree
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
12 lasagna noodles
2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
1-1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1 egg
2 c. shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper

Heat the oil over medium heat in a dutch oven.  When oil is shimmering add in the onion,


and bell pepper.
Stir it around for a few minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add in the garlic and oregano, along with some pepper and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.

Add in the ground beef and break it up with a spatula.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink.

Add in the puree and diced tomatoes.  Simmer about 30 minutes so the flavors can blend.  While it is simmering...

Mix together the ricotta, 1 cup of the Parmesan, basil, egg and about 1/2 tsp. of pepper.  You should also take this time to cook your noodles.  I did not take a picture of this, nor am I going to explain the process because if you can't cook a noodle, you probably aren't reading this.

Now it's time to assemble.  Pour a scoop of sauce (about 1 cup) in the bottom of a 13"x9" pan and spread it around.

Lay 3 noodles on top of the sauce.

Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.

Top with 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese.

Then spoon on some more sauce.  I tried to ration it so I had a nice amount left to top the lasagna with. 

 Repeat the layers 2 more times and top with the last 3 noodles, the rest of your sauce, the last cup of mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Bake on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, until the top is starting to brown and the lasagna is bubbling.  Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving so you don't have lasagna soup.  Tomorrow I will tell you about the easy peasy salad I made to go with this!

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