I love preparing pasta dishes. Over the years, I have prepared so many of them. Except for lasagna. It has always kind off intimidated me, in a way. Last week our lovely neighbor prepared one, and was supposed to give me a portion but, alas we were out on a party. This made me salivate for lasagna all week, and around Thursday I stumbled upon Mad Hungry which featured lasagna. I took it as a sign from the cosmos that I should prepare lasagna this weekend. Hehe. #palusotlang
It is so easy to prepare. Believe me. Being a lazy mama, I think this dish is so convenient that next time we're having guests over I am preparing this one again. And it's super sumptuous too. Our guts had no more space for dessert after eating it (now, that's a first).
So enough of my rambling and here are the steps, slightly modified by me. If you want to see the original recipe that inspired me click here.
What you need:
1 pound lasagna noodles or packaged precooked lasagna noodles
4 garlic sausages
1 large egg
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cut grated cheddar cheese (Note: Luncida recommends pecorino or parmesan since I want to be more practical I substituted good old cheddar it was yummy just the same)
5 cups Basic Italian Tomato Sauce (I made this on my own, see instructions below)
1 pound mozzarella cheese
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
for the tomato sauce: whole peeled tomato, basil, butter (optional) salt and pepper
What you need to do:
Basic Italian Tomato Sauce:
1.Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl around the olive oil to coat the pan, and when the oil is hot, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly for 30 seconds, just long enough to release the garlic's fragrance and transform it slightly from its raw state. Don't cook it to golden.
2. Raise the heat to high and stir in the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the basil sprig, if using. Remove the basil before serving and swirl in the butter, if using.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and a generous pinch of salt and cook for half as long as the package suggests. Drain and float in cold water. (Skip this step if noodles are precooked.) -> I used San Remo pre-cooked lasagna so preparation was made even easier.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, fry the sausage links until cooked through, about 10 minutes. With kitchen scissors, cut the sausage into disks in the pan and continue to fry over low heat until the cut surfaces are crispy, about 20 minutes. Drain off the fat.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the egg, ricotta, and 1/2 cup of cheddar.
4. To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Overlap one third of the noodles atop the sauce to cover the pan bottom. Spread all the cooked sausage over the noodles and spoon over another cup of sauce. Lay down the second third of noodles. Evenly dollop all the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and flatten with the spoon to make an even layer. Top with the remaining noodles to completely cover the cheese. Pour over 1 1/2 to 2 cups sauce to cover. Evenly lay all the mozzarella slices on top. Drizzle with olive oil.
5. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbling all over and lightly golden on top. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. (Let is set, patience is a virtue mga muthers!) =)
Pictures to show you:
|My raw ingredients|
|Osterized whole peeled tomatoes with basil|
|Ricotta and grated cheddar with egg|
|The first layer of lasagna, brown garlic sausages|
|Topped with mozzarela cheese|
|Dinner is served!|