Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stove Top Lasagna

Lasagna is delicious.  It is also a pain to make.  You must boil the noodles, making sure that they don’t stick or tear.  Then you have to make the sauce.  Then you have to assemble the lasagna.  Then you bake it, hoping it doesn’t spill into the oven. Then you must scrub the pan later. Delicious, but a pain.

This version is easier, not easy, but easier.  By making it on top of the stove and using oven ready pasta, you lower the number of pans used from three to one.  The oven ready pasta also makes assembling the lasagna easier.  Just make sure that all the pasta is submerged or it will be crunchy.  Not good. You could save yourself even more time and mess by using a jar of sauce, but really? You want it to taste good right?

Servings: 6-8
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a very deep skillet with a lid, a can opener, a mixing bowl, a very large bowl, a fork, a wooden spoon, a ladle, a silicon spatula
Time:  Prep:  15 minutes    Cooking: 1½ hours

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, diced
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
  • 1-29 oz. can tomato puree
  • 1-28 oz. can diced tomatoes (you can use the kind that comes with basil, garlic, and onions)
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 oz. shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup of ground parmesan
  • 1 pound oven ready lasagna noodles

  1. Heat the oil in the skillet on medium.
  2. Remove the sausage from the casing.
  3. Cook and crumble the sausage, ground beef, and garlic until they are no longer pink.  (About 7 minutes)  Drain most of the fat from the skillet.
  4. Add the Italian seasoning and tomatoes. Allow the sauce to come to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Mix the ricotta, eggs, pesto, and pepper and set aside.
  6. Pour most of the sauce into the large bowl. You should leave the bottom of the skillet covered in sauce.
  7. Layer the pasta over the sauce.  You may need to break it to cover the bottom. Use the spatula to spread about ½ of the ricotta over the pasta.  Sprinkle with ½ of the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle with ½ the parmesan. Top with ½ the remaining sauce. Repeat the layers ending with parmesan. Make sure that all of the pasta is submerged.
  8. You might not use all the pasta.  You can store it in a plastic bag for later use. If you have leftover sauce you can freeze that, too.
  9. Return the skillet to the heat.  Allow to come to a boil.  Turn down to a low simmer and cover with the lid. Simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the lasagna to sit, uncovered,for 10 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread and a green salad.

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