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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Best Lasagna Recipe

Seems I was hoping my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother would show up and help me out a bit. She hardly ever comes around when I really need her, but this time I was daydreamin' in front of my big blank computer screen, trying to figure out a very good recipe for Lasagna. Now, I have done a lot of that stuff at wakes and weddings and other gatherings of guests that require feeding. But it is sort of a fast fix to feed a flock of friends and frolickers. It is sort of a long drawn out process gettin’ it just right. I always thought I needed a bit of something extra to make it a complete dish. So, come on Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, help me out here. I’m sorry I avoid you at times, but now I need help.

Click, Click, Click, the screen lit up. Sorta’ glared in my face all at once. And there it was a brand new recipe for Lasagna that I hadn’t made before in this manner. How’d you do that Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother? Thanks a lot. And now, here it is, my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother’s latest and greatest Lasagna recipe.

So, what have ya’ll got goin’? Playoffs?, Super Bowl Party? Cousin Emmy Lou just land a live one and is getting’ married? Whatever. Here is your fix for the festivities..

This recipe is enough for 12 servings, so if ya’ll need more you can add accordingly.

And, a note here, if you live in the big city where there are Italian Import Shops, you might get acquainted there and find all these cheese items there. Might cost a couple of extra bucks, but the products are imported and fresh and sometimes the shop owner will weigh out exactly what you need.

Here is what you need:

    1 lb sirloin steak, have your butcher buddy grind it fine and be sure to end up with a pound of ground meat with very little fat.
    1 clove garlic, pressed or chopped fine.
    1 tablespoon Olive Oil, enough to coat the skillet.
    2 ½ cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Divided.
    1 container, usually 15 – 16 ounces, grated Ricotta Cheese.
    2/3 cup, Grated Parmesan Cheese. Divided.
    ¼ cup, chopped fresh Parsley.
    1 egg, beaten.
    I jar, 26 oz, spaghetti sauce.
    1 cup water.
    12 Lasagna noodles, uncooked.

And here is what you gotta’ do to do it.

Heat the oven to 350º, Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet heat the oil and garlic long enough to let the garlic permeate the hot oil. Add the meat and brown. High heat is not necessary here. Usually medium will work just fine, without scorching the oil.
While the meat is browning, mix 1 ¼ cups Mozzarella, all the Ricotta, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese with the parsley and the egg, blend well and set aside.
Drain the browned beef and return to skillet. Add the sauce and pour the water in the jar and close the lid tightly and shake until all the sauce is desolved. Add that to the skillet and keep warm. Not only does the water clean out the jar, but the added water will cook the lasagna noodles in the oven without having to cook them first.
Use a 9x13 baking dish and spread 1 cup of meat sauce on the bottom.
Top with 3 of the uncooked lasagna noodles. The noodles will expand to fit the dish while they are baking.
Add about 1/3 of the cheese mix over the top of that plus another cup of meat sauce. Another layer of noodles, and so on.
Top with the remaining 3 noodles and any remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1 ½ cups Mozzarella and 1’3 cup Parmesan cheese over the top of that.
Cover tightly with greased foil and bake for 45 minutes,
uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to set the top and heat well throughout.
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes to set, before cutting into 12 sections of one serving each.

A jug of good Italian red will top off the Lasagna. Cut raw veggies, like carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and such with a dish of dipping oil, (olive oil and dry red wine) goes along with this.

Take Care Now, Ya’heah!
And Have A Great Gatherin’!

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