So I was asked to make lasagne for some family friends who were coming over today, and I thought I would take this opportunity to give my lasagne recipe. I have another one that I use for only vegetable lasagne, but this one was a meat one. I shall post the vegetable recipe next time I make it.
One medium sized onion chopped
Six cloves garlic (at least!) – side note: I love the taste and smell of garlic, so I add this many, but cutting down the garlic to two cloves is fine too
Two pounds of lean ground beef
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes if you want the sauce to be a bit more chunky)
1 can tomato paste mixed in with half a cup water
2 cups tomato sauce (or pasta sauce, whichever one you prefer)
4 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoon of white sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (the fresh one really makes a difference!)
8 – 12 lasagne noodles (follow the cooking instructions on the box depending on the type of noodles)
23 ounces ricotta cheese
¾ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1)In a large pot, warm ground beef and start breaking with the back of a wooden or plastic stirring spoon
2)When the beef starts to brown, add the chopped onion and garlic and mix with the beef until it has changed to a brown colour and the onions are translucent
3)Stir in the can tomatoes, the mixture of tomato paste and water and the two cups of tomato sauce
4)Add the sugar, the fennel seeds, the 4 tablespoon parsley, the salt, Italian seasoning, and basil to the beef and tomato sauce mixture. Stir well. **note: Since I am Pakistani, I add some chilli powder to my lasagne mixture just to give it a bit of a kick. If you want to do this as well, add only a teaspoon to the beef and sauce mixture with the rest of the seasonings.
5)Simmer on medium-low heat for an hour and a half at least. At this point, you can refrigerate the sauce and make the lasagne the next day if you desire.
6)Mix the ricotta, egg, parsley and nutmeg in a bowl.
7)Cook lasagne noodles according to the box’s instructions
8)And now onto assembly!
9)Put some of the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish that you are using
10)Next, add a layer of noodles
11)Then add a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture
12)Then add mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese
13)Then add another meat sauce layer
14)Lay down noodles once more
15)Note: always put noodles on top of the meat sauce layer. I find that if they are on top of cheese, they get hard in the oven and are impossible to eat
16)The top layers should be meat and mozzarella cheese
17)Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
18)Remove the foil and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes
19)Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 15 min before eating
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