A girl has to have more than one lasagna recipe – perhaps a gooey, cheesy one for a cold winter night; a veggie-loaded one for using up summer bounty; a frugal one for the dollar-conscious; and a fancy one for entertaining fancy people.
Here’s a new one for me, dubbed the “localest (sic) lasagna ever,” using Sausage Craft San Miniato sausage from Farm to Family, ground beef from Relayfoods.com’s Artisan Cuts, a Polyface Farms egg, marinara & mozzarella from Pizza Tonight, and homemade pasta. (Don’t have time to make your own pasta? Try pasta from Bombolini.) Oh and basil from my yard.
Making lasagna is an exercise in assembly, an easy way to feed a group and still have leftovers to spare. This lasagna doesn’t do any reinventing – I just stick with the formula I know and let the ingredients do the talking.
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage, casing removed
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine*
2 cups marinara
1 tablespoon tomato paste*
2 cups ricotta
1 cup parmesan
2 cups mozzarella, sliced thin or shredded
about a pound of lasagna sheets, uncooked
basil chiffonade, for garnish
salt and pepper, duh
Preheat the oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium high heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook until translucent. Add beef and crumbled sausage, and cook until the meat begins to brown. Add red wine, marinara, and tomato paste, and allow to simmer for about ten minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly before assembling.
While that’s working, combine ricotta, parmesan (save a sprinkle for the top,) and egg. Mix thoroughly and season.
Grab a deep 9×13″ pan, and create an assembly line with the pasta, beef ragu, ricotta mixture, and shredded mozzarella. Start with a layer of beef ragu on the bottom, and then build up: Pasta, ricotta, ragu, mozzarella, repeat. Save an ample amount of the mozzarella for the top, and finish with a sprinkle of parmesan.
Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil, and finish for another 15 minutes to get the cheese extra golden and bubbly. If you’re like us, you like it a little crispy around the edges, so 20 minutes is just fine. Add basil, and allow to rest before cutting. Serve with a salad, some crusty bread, and the rest of that red wine!
*You don’t necessarily have to have either the red wine or the tomato paste, but the marinara I use is very fresh tasting, and adding wine and tomato paste helps to make the flavor richer. Also, since you’re only using a little bit of either, you have plenty left over to enjoy while the lasagna is cooking. And yes, I eat tomato paste right out of the can. You think that’s bad…