Friday, September 3, 2010

Homemade Meat Lasagna with Tomato Sauce

      I have to say that this is my own version of a lasagna.  However, I also have to say that every time I make it to friends or family members I get in return lots of compliments on how surprisingly tasty the lasagna is.  Last week, I had my husband's friends over in my house for lunch.  Spanish lunch that is.  My menu initially, before I knew there would be so many more people over for lunch that day, was codfish with a vinaigrette spiced up by Canarian green hot peppers, and accompanied by boiled potatoes.  Instead, I ended up serving leftover homemade lasagna from the day before together with the cod fish; since we were a bit too many.  Not a match made in heaven I would think, but it would have to do in such a short notice.  To make my story short, the lasagna was the queen of the party, not the fresh codfish from Norway.  My meat lasagna had dethroned the royal cod fish.  It disappeared in a matter of minutes leaving my husband's friends longing for more.
     Days later, one of them called me insisting that I "must" post it in my blog.  He confessed that he wanted to cook it for his wife and family.  Today, I am granting his wish.
    The secret to my meat lasagna is, beside buying good quality meat, is my homemade tomato sauce, which I previously published in this blog.  So I recommend you to make the sauce ahead of time following my own recipe.
    The rest of the ingredients are:

  • 2 pounds of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 pounds of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound and a half of ground lean beef
  • 1 pack of barilla no boil pasta sheets
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • garlic powder 
  • onion powder
  • oregano
  • herbs du Provence
  • black pepper
  • salt
    Preheat the oven to 325º F, or 170º C.
    Heat a skillet with 3 tablespoons of oil, add the ground beef, stir and start to season with the herbs, garlic powder and onion powder, salt and pepper.  About a teaspoon of each.  Stir again and when the meat is cooked pour it into a bowl.

Do not overcook the meat.  Remember that it will cook again in the oven once the lasagna is completely formed.
    Have the rest of the ingredients ready to use.
    Cover the bottom of a 13x9 pyrex lightly with tomato sauce.
    Next, set up a layer of Barilla no boil pasta sheets.  Arrange them carefully so one is a bit on top of the other.
    Again, cover with sauce, and set up another layer with meat.

    Then, sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.  Add spoonfuls of ricotta cheese until it is all pretty much covered.  Spread some more sauce, and again cover with the pasta sheets.  

     Keep repeating this process, until the pan is full.  Make sure the top has enough sauce to cover it all.  Again, sprinkle a bit of parmesan and mozzarella, but not ricotta.
     Put it in the middle rack of the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes.  I have a trick to make sure the lasagna is done properly.  I introduce a knife in one of the sides to feel if the pasta is already soft, and I carefully touch the sides of the knife to check if it is hot to make sure the interior of the lasagna is sufficiently cooked.  Check the bottom of the pan regularly to prevent from burning, some ovens are different than others.
    I encourage you to serve yourself a big piece of lasagna with a nice salad as a side dish, and spend your money in a good bottle of Italian Valpolicella, or a nice Spanish rioja.  And have yourself a wonderful meal.  Que aproveche!


Medifast Coupons said...

I can see why your lasagna is a hit it sounds wonderful. Love all the cheeses.

Amy said...

It's such a comforting lasagna dish! :) Love your pictures showing the steps. Also, thanks for checking out my Blog. Have a wonderful day!

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