Monday, January 20, 2014 worth the extra steps

Anytime I ask Dave what he'd like for dinner, his answer is always lasagna or risotto. He answers with lasagna or risotto as more of a joke because he knows 9 out of 10 times my answer will be no. Lasagna and risotto are amongst some of the foods, like bouillabaisse that I love but won't make during the week because of a few reasons. 1) there are too many steps, 2) the cooking process is involved or 3) there are way too many ingredients. Trust me, I love those foods just as much as he does but the thought of cooking them during the work week is dreadful, hence why I say no!  Let me explain further. Lasagna - too many steps....brown the beef, boil the noodles, mix the ricotta and eggs, layer, layer, layer and yes, layer, then finally bake...FOR AN HOUR! Geez the thought alone is making me tired. Risotto - involved cooking order for it to taste right each step has to be cooked with perfection, plus you have pay very close attention while cooking or it will turn to mush. Bouillabaisse - too many ingredients...there are like 20 plus ingredients in this recipe and at least 5 of them are different types of fish, holy break the bank week night meal. I love making each of these recipes but pleeease some are just not meant to be made during the week!

When I asked Dave what he wanted me to make for dinner this weekend he immediately responded with "Lasagna." Well guess what, it was Dave's lucky day because I said "YES!" I said yes because it was on a Sunday, I had the time and we were having friends over. So I put my A-Game on and made a killer lasagna! My friend admitted that she had never made lasagna before. It amazes me when I hear that a grown adult has never made lasagna before! Many people avoid making lasagna because they think it is too difficult or complicated. I think it's quite easy. There are just a lot of steps to follow, and unlike risotto the steps don't have to be precise..and that's a good thing! Before my beloved Grandmother Brigid passed away she gave me several of her kitchen items and one was her extra large-deep dish lasagna pan. Love it, thank you grandma! If you don't have one, buy one.  If you are anything like me, one who doesn't make lasagna often, it's worth it buying a pan that allows you to make a ton at once. So if you have never made lasagna before or you simply want to make your significant-other super happy than make this mouth watering, make your house smell good, worthwhile meal! Salute to lasagna and taking the extra steps to making it!


1  pound box lasagna noodles
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion diced
3 jars of your favorite tomato sauce
1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 tb dried parsley
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parm cheese
2 tb minced garlic
salt n pepper
olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a saute pan brown ground beef and onion on medium heat, when cooked, set aside. In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese, garlic, eggs, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, parm cheese, parsley and salt n pepper well and set aside.  Boil water in a large pot for lasagna noodles. Now ready to assemble and layer. Drizzle olive oil at the bottom of lasagna pan (should be at least 9 x 13) and some tomato sauce to coat. Dip noodles in boiling water for 1 minute.  Place noodles on bottom of pan, then top with ricotta mixture, then beef, then tomato sauce.  Dip another 4 noodles for 1 minute then add to first layer, add ricotta, add ground beef and add sauce.  Keep layering until you reach top of pan.  I usually have 3-4 layers.  Top with sauce to coat every noodle. Bake in oven for 50 minutes. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese to lasagna and bake for another 10 minutes. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow cheese to set. Top with sauce and parm cheese.

* I'm not a fan of using uncooked lasagna noodles or fully cooked noodles. I dunk them for 1 minute in boiling water so they absorb the water and thus, cook evenly when baked.  I love the results this way.

Food Impressions:

Nate: "Meaty and saucy"

Tyler: "Good and very filling"

Zachary: "Cheesy and yummy"

Dave: "Flavors are rich and hearty"

Andrea (me): "I am so happy that Dave suggested that I make lasagna this weekend.  It was well worth the extra steps!" I can't wait for leftovers because it's even better the next day.

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