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[personal profile] jademermaid
I've never posted a lasagna recipe? Really?

Lasagna was always part of the holidays for me as a kid. Dad would drive me up to Long Island and we would stay at my grandmother's house for a week or so. Christmas dinner was always lasagna, meatballs and sausage, scungili, fava beans and a bunch of crazy Italians gabbing loudly. I like my lasagna saucy, but not spicy. If you want it spicy, use mild or spicy sausage instead of sweet.

This year I split my time in the kitchen by making meatballs and sauce on Christmas eve, and serving meatball subs. This way I still had meatballs the next day but my knee got a break.

Jill's Lasagna


1 package sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1/2 yellow onion chopped fine
tablespoon of minced garlic
olive oil
1 can tomato paste
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

cheese filling
1 large container whole milk ricotta (Never, ever put cottage cheese in lasagna. Don't make me hurt you.)

1 tube goat cheese (chevre) <<<<<-----secret ingredient! Shhhh!
3 eggs
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

1 package of mozzarella/provolone shred mix, or a package each of sliced.
Parmesean/romano cheese mix. The best you can find.
1 box lasagna noodles (I like Barilla)

Use a good large pot and brown the sausage in a bit of olive oil over medium high until it isn't pink anymore, then transfer it to a bowl and put in more olive oil and cook the onions until they are glossy and the edges are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add the 2 cans crushed tomatoes and the paste. Stir until warm and add the sausage and herbs. Heat until bubbles come up and turn the heat to low. Cover.

Take your baking dish (mine is Pyrex and 15 x 10 x 2 1/2)and fill it with hot tap water, and set the noodles in to soften up, about 20 minutes. I used to cook the noodles and dry them on towels, but this tip saves me a LOT of time and aggravation, and comes out just fine. I have tried the dry method and it makes the lasagna too dry in my opinion.

Make the filling. Just mix everything together. I like to use a potato masher for this. Then put the filling in a gallon size Ziploc and cut off one of the corners. How much easier is this than trying to layer with a spoon? Ooodles easier. Trust me!

Remove the noodles and pour out the water from the pan. Preheat to 375.

Now the fun part. First, take a ladleful of sausage-free sauce and put it on the bottom of the pan. Now you have to figure out how many noodles you will have per layer. For my pan, it was 5 noodles per layer. Do not try to fill the entire layer with noodle, they will expand quite a bit as they cook in the sauce, so leave a space between.

Noodles/sauce/cheese filling/mozz-prov/parm-romano.

Make layers, leaving enough sauce and mozz-prov/parm-romano for the top.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or so, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.

Meatballs and Sauce for Meatball subs

Sauce is the same as above, but no sausage. Start on the meatballs once you get the sauce on low.


3 pounds ground chuck (or 1/2 lamb 1/2 pork, or whatever you have in the freezer)
a large handful of bread crumbs. I use ground croissants, they are awesome!
3 eggs
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, or 1/4 cup dried
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup parmesean romano mix, best you can find
1/2 cup hot tap water <<<<-----secret ingredient! Shhh!

Mix the meatballs and heat up a skillet to medium heat with a bit of olive oil on the bottom. Roll the meatballs about 2 inches or so in diameter and place them in the pan. Turn them gently until they are lightly browned on all sides and drop them into the sauce. Cover and cook on low for an hour or so. Stir often.
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