19 hours ago
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Didn't I just say I was going on a diet?
I said I would start tomorrow, Monday.
It's Sunday! We are having company and I won't subject them to my healthy, low fat eating, poor things.
People come here expecting good food, a bit on the fattening side and lots of it. Brothers and brothers in law have been known to have 2nd & 3rd helpings. (a compliment to me!).
So, I decided it would be a good day to make a lasagne for Marie at Proud Italian Cook & Maryann at Finding La Dolce Vita's Festa Italiana Party.
What time can I expect you here for dinner, Marie?
I made a Sunday gravy a few posts back, a pork shoulder ragu, that took 5 hours. A pain, but worth it. It made enough sauce for 2 dinners and 2 containers to freeze.
I made lasagne with the leftover sauce defrosted from the freezer stock of goodies.
There really is no scientific recipe for lasagne. It's a layered casserole, how hard can it be?
Noodles, cheese, sauce, meat. Noodles, cheese, sauce, meat. Noodles, cheese, sauce, meat. Are you are getting the hang of it?
I buy the very best fresh lasagne pasta sheets at the Italian deli, and I think that is why my lasagne is so good. The fresh pasta sheets make the difference. They are so eggy and beautiful to work with.
I add some regular tomato sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole.
Lay your fresh noodles in the sauce. I now layer the pork ragu (or any meat sauce) on top of the noodles.
Next layer will be my ricotta cheese mixture, which is:
16 oz. container of fresh ricotta
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp of pesto sauce (mix all of these ingredients together until fluffy).
Lay your ricotta mixture on top of a clean noodle (I don't like the meat sauce to mingle with the cheese mixture).
Now, top your cheese mixture with a clean sheet of pasta. Pour some tomato sauce over this, enough to cover the pan.
Top with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind packed in water). Dab with spoonfuls of basil pesto.
Spray PAM on aluminum foil, so it doesn't stick to the cheese, and cover and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 oven.
Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes (1 hour total).
Let rest a few minutes before slicing. See, only 2 layers. It's so good!