101 in 1001 No. 1: Lasagna

When I was younger, Mom would make us each a special birthday dinner. We got to pick whatever we wanted. It was a big deal. For several years running, without fail, my choice was lasagna. I just loved it. Thus, lasagna is no. 1 on my list of 101 in 1001.

Since we had a snow day today, I figured that there was no time like the present to tackle this dish. I used the ingredients that Emily used to make her lasagna, and tweaked the proportions a bit.

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbs. EVOO
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or two garlic cloves)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 Tbs basil
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)

You’ll also need:

  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 2 lbs burger
  • 2 -7 oz. bags of Mozzarella cheese
  • 30 oz ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • Parmesan cheese

Steps to success:

  1. Set a large (I mean VERY large) pot of water to boil. The goal is that you’ll be able to fit your lasagna noodles in it.
  2. Mix up your sauce. Sautee the garlic and onions in the EVOO for a minute, then add the other ingredients. Stir, set on medium heat, and let it go for about 30 minutes. Bear in mind that the ingredients for the sauce are all pretty optional and depend on your personal taste. Basically, you just need to have something resembling a pasta sauce to layer the noodles with. Use what you like!
  3. Once the water boils, add the noodles; let them boil for 10 minutes.
  4. While the sauce simmers, brown your burger.
  5. Once it’s all done, you can start assembling your lasagna!

Layer in this order:

  1. noodles
  2. ricotta cheese (spread it around the noodle base)
  3. burger (don’t get too excited and use it all at once, you’ll need enough for 3 or 4 layers)
  4. sauce
  5. Mozzarella

Finish off the top layer with a little bit more cheese (you can never have enough cheese) and a good layer of Parmesan (because you can never have enough cheese). Slide into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Once the hour is up, use your judgment (if it looks done, it probably is). Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting and eating. While it’s sitting, toast some garlic bread. Garlic bread=happiness.


7 thoughts on “101 in 1001 No. 1: Lasagna

  1. Nice looking lasagna!! The only two lasagnas I’ve ever made were very nontraditional… one goat cheese/spinach lasagna with butternut squash sauce and quinoa, and the other with a Mexican spice spin and sauteed tempeh! 🙂

  2. I adore lasagna. I hated it as a kid, but discovered what I really hated were the recipes involving cottage cheese instead of ricotta.

    Congrats on your success in the art of lasagna =)

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