I’ve noted that with aging many latent passions have surfaced and now I have the time to hone my skill level. Several things I enjoy are gardening, reading, writing, and cooking. The above photos highlight some of my vegetables, garlic, and potatoes. It is a thrill to grab a bulb of garlic in April that was harvested in July.
It is no secret that my favorite meals are Italian dishes. There is a lot of flexibility and personal taste in the preparation of Italian food. I’ve made several versions of lasagna, but must confess, this meaty lasagna recipe is my favorite.
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium white onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
12 lasagna noodles
32 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
18 slices of mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
2 26 oz. jars of marinara sauce
1 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
Preparing the meat mixture:
Add ground beef and sausage (removed from its casing) in a large skillet to brown. To make the meat into a finely crumbled form I use a potato masher. Dice up the peppers and onions and add to the skillet. When the meat is browned and the vegetables cooked add in the minced garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes and then drain off the excess fat. Add 1 26 ounce jar of marina sauce and 1 26 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce and 1/2 – 1 26 ounce jar of the marina – depending how saucy you want your mixture and let simmer.
Preparing the ricotta cheese:
Using a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt and mix well.
Cook lasagna noodle according to directions on the package and preheat the over to 350 degrees.
Some assembly required:
Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread one cup of your meat mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Layer with 6 slices of mozzarella cheese and then 1/3 of the meat mixture. Repeat this process for 2 more layers, making sure you end up with meat sauce on top and then cover and bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes remove lasagna from oven and uncover. Add the remaining 6 slices of mozzarella cheese and return to the oven (uncovered) for 15 to 20 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
I would gladly put this lasagna recipe up against any local Italian restaurants and the best part is I can have it in the comfort of my own home. Make sure you have some fresh Italian bread to compliment your meal with a tossed garden salad on the side.