My first attempt at making lasagna

This really didn’t turn out like any lasagna I’ve ever had before…

& you’ll have to excuse the photo quality, especially the cooked lasagna ones… there really was no hope for pretty lasagna pictures once this finished cooking.

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I have been saying for ages that I want to make lasagna but it seemed like so much work and who the heck has a pan big enough! I finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try, especially since Mike bought me an early Christmas present from Canadian Tire. Who doesn’t want a bake ware set!? Anyways back to the point, this set came with a dish that said it’s a lasagna dish so I didn’t really have an excuse any more.

I got the recipe from those lovely people over at Tasty it has amazing reviews so I figured i’d give it a shot. In typical Ferah fashion, I didn’t have everything I needed and it didn’t really turn out like how I pictured it. Like where is the sauce!?

To make this you need:

Meat sauce part:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 lg carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1lb each of ground beef and ground pork
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 6oz cans Tomato paste
  • 2 cups Red wine
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes

Cheese mix part:

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Fresh basil & parsley
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • Shredded mozzarella

So… I was missing the red wine, I drank it the night before (no regrets). I also didn’t have the fresh herbs. We were going to grab some the day of  so that way they were SUPER fresh but, we got busy appliance shopping and then had to rush home to feed the babe and make said lasagna before kid 1 was done school. I also had a whole bunch of meat. This was definitely a meaty lasagna.

The original recipe doesn’t say whether or not to drain your diced tomatoes, so I didn’t…and I should have. I also just pretended it didn’t say wine in the ingredients. For the fresh herbs I was missing, I just put a crap ton of dried basil leaves. Clearly we’re already off to a great start… I would also opt to buy the lasagna noodles you don’t have to pre-cook next time. I made a whole box of them because that’s what the recipe said and I had about 4 extra. PLUS why make more work for yourself??(2 for $5 is why Ferah!)

I’m going to say how to make it with the changes I would do for next time.

Start by prepping as much as you can; chopping your onions, garlic, herbs, carrots and celery and placing them to the side. I’m slowly getting better at this prep part. Everything is so much easier if it’s already chopped and measured when you need it.

If you didn’t buy the easy noodles, cook those in salted boiling water until just tender, drain and rinse in hot water then place to the side until it’s time to assemble your lasagna. Or, be smart and buy the one’s you don’t need to cook and skip this step entirely!

 

In a large pan cook your meats until cooked thoroughly, then drain the excess grease. The original recipe has it set so you just use one skillet and you cook everything together, this made the lasagna so greasy, the meat 100% needs to be drained of the grease.

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While your meat is cooking in one pan, in a separate larger one, over medium heat,add in the oil and butter and heat until the butter is melted. Next throw in (not literally) the onion, celery, garlic and carrot. Stir that around until your veggies are caramelized.

Add in the cooked meat, cans of tomato paste(I’d double what the orig. says), salt and pepper. Stir that around until the your sauce starts sticking to the bottom of your pan.

This is when the recipe calls for you to add the wine in. (Comments suggest to use a cooking red wine but if you’re using a fruity red wine, half it.) If you didn’t drink all your wine already add that in and scrape the bottom of your pan to release any bits that are sticking.

Don’t forget about your noodles if you’re cooking them!

Once your wine has come to a simmer add in your drained diced tomatoes. (If you didn’t do the wine, obviously skip any part I mentioned wine.) Stir everything in and once it’s combined bring your sauce to a simmer. Let this simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring every once and a while.

While all that is simmering it’s little heart out, we’re going to make the cheese layer.

In a large bowl, add in ricotta, basil, parmesan, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Mix it until well combined. (if your ricotta isn’t fresh out of the fridge it will spread easier)

Once your cheese mix and your “sauce” are ready you can start to assemble your lasagna.

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In a  9×13 baking dish., start with a very thin layer of sauce on the bottom (mostly to keep the noodles from sticking), then place a layer of noodles on top, it’s okay if they’re overlapping slightly. Spread a layer of ricotta mix, top with a layer of sauce, then noodles, then repeat. Topping everything off the shredded mozzarella and whatever parmesan you have left over.

You can either cook this right away in a preheated oven at 400°. Cover it and bake for 25 minutes then remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. You also have the option to cover it and cook it later. We made ours about 3 hours before we needed to actually cook it.

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I’m sure it could be made the night/day before and left in the fridge before cooking it. Just adjust your cooking times, considering the middle will be cold.

but seriously… where is the sauce??

 

Do you have a go to lasagna recipe? 

Do you know where I went wrong?

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Hello. I liked your post. I think adding more sauce and this is coming from some one who has never made the dish yet. But I will make maybe this week end. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Like

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