I am an Italian-American. My father grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Boston. My mother is from a tiny Southern town in Florida. Those two cuisines can come together to make interesting dishes. Shrimp and Grits can become Shrimp and Polenta. Summer squash can be cooked along with zucchini. AND you can mix the fun sandwich Sloppy Joes with the Sunday favorite lasagna and have Sloppy Lasagna. This was so good.
All lasagna takes a great deal of work. This is made easier by using oven-ready pasta. You can also make the Sloppy Joes, through step three, the day before.
Time: Active time 25 minutes; Cook: 1 ½ hours, Sloppy Goodness in about 2 hours
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a large heavy bottomed skillet, a can opener, a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl, a whisk, a silicone spatula, a 13x9x3 glass baking dish and a baking sheet
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 small onion (½ cup) Save $
- 1 small bell pepper (½ cup) Save $
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar Save $
- ½ teaspoon salt Save $
- 1 cup ketchup Save $
- 1 tablespoon vinegar Save $
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce Save $
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1-9 oz box oven ready lasagna (I used Barilla)
- 2 eggs
- 1-16 oz container ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons of your favorite steak seasoning (I used McCormick Grill mate Montreal)
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Chop the onion and bell pepper. Set aside.
3. Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, onions and peppers. Cook and crumble until the meat is no longer pink. This should take 5-7 minutes. Stir in the sugar, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, tomato sauce and beef stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer until thickened. This should take about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. Combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, one cup of the cheddar and the steak seasoning. Set aside.
5. Spread 1 cup of the sloppy joes on bottom of the glass pan.
6. Now layer 4 uncooked noodles (it is okay if they overlap), ⅓ of the ricotta mixture, 1 cup of the cheese, ⅓ of the sauce. Use the spatula to spread the ricotta to the edges. End with the Sloppy Joe and set aside 1 cup of the cheese. You should have 3 layers. Place the pan on the baking sheet in case the lasagna boils over. Cover with foil, place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 55 minutes.
7. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted. This should take 5 minutes.
8. Allow the Sloppy Lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve with Wilted Spinach.