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Monday, October 31, 2011

Lasagna

Thanks to all who participated in the class on Sunday.   We had some good pies! 

Since in most of the country and very soon here it will be cold.  One of my favorite cold weather dishes is Lasagna.  Most people have their own recipes or favorite ways of doing Lasagna including some very good frozen entrees.  For me I like to make my own sauce and add my own touches.

Sauce

1 Lb of Italian Sausage - use 1/3 hot 2/3 sweet - removed from the casings
1 Onion - diced
4 cloves of garlic
Sweet Basil, Oregano, Thyme and bay leaf

Put 1 -2 tablespoons of EVO in a large stock pot.  Add the sausage, onion and garlic and brown.  Break up the sausage while it cooks.  Once the meat is browned, add your seasonings and cook for about 1 minute to wake the spices.  I did not give any amounts on the seasoning.  Use your judgement - it is easier to add more than try to adjust,. It will also depend on the sausage.

Then add

1 #10 can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of sauce
3 tablespoons of tomato paste

Stir to blend in the meat mixture and simmer for at least 1 hour - longer is better.  If the mixture is too dry add some wine or water.

After 1 hour  add 1 teaspoon good Balsamic and cook for at least another 30 minutes

Assemble your Lasagna

Put a small amount of sauce on the bottom of you pan.  They layer UNCOOKED lasagna noodles on top. Add more sauce and some Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat until you have filled your pan ending with sauce and lots of cheese on top.  Next cover as follows

Use a large sheet of clear plastic wrap: (Yes PLASTIC)  cover the pan so that it is sealed, then cover the plastic with Aluminum foil.  Make sure that the plastic is completely covered.

Bake in a 325 oven for about 45 minutes.  Test to make sure that the dish is done.   When ready take it out and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

NOTES" I only use uncooked pasta in my lasagna.  The sauce will cook the pasta in the oven and the pasta will be great.  The method of using foil over plastic ensures that the moisture stays in the dish and helps to eliminate spills in the oven.  I used this method all the time in commercial kitchens. It works - trust me!