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Lasagna

Indulge in a delicious meal of lasagna this evening! You can replace the sauce and pasta with the packaged kind if it is easier, but try it one time all from scratch you you will notice a huge delicious difference! (I color coded the directions so if you are buying pasta and sauce, only read the black text!) Sometimes I make this in a disposable aluminum pan so it simplifies cleanup! See below images! This goes amazing with Italian Salad and Garlic Bread! #SoNomNom4u #Lasagna #RemoveMeatForVegetarianVersion


12-16 lasagna sheets, boiled to 'al dente' texture (See recipe below in brown or use packaged)

1/2 lb ground beef

4 cups tomato sauce (see recipe below in red or use packaged)

4 TBSP Olive oil

1 shallot, chopped fine

1/2 lb Italian Sausage

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 cup parmesan cheese + enough for serving

32 oz. Ricotta Cheese

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp cracked pepper

4 cups shredded mozzarella

1 egg

Fresh basil for garnish


Directions:

Red Pasta Sauce

3 TBSP Olive Oil

5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2(6 oz) can tomato paste

3 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

3 oz white wine

2-1/2 cups water (use 1-1/2 cups of water of making pizza sauce)

3 TBSP sugar

1 TBSP basil

1 TBSP Oregano

3 tsp Thyme

3 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp white pepper

1 TBSP garlic salt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Heat Olive oil in large saucepan, add garlic and stir. Cook for about a minute and add all ingredients. Wisk the tomato paste into the liquid completely to remove any chunks and simmer on low until sauce is thickened a bit. Remove from heat and serve on your favorite pasta.


Pasta Dough

2 cups All purpose flour

1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan)

3 eggs +2 egg yolks

3 TBSP olive oil

Stand Alone Mixer :

Mix salt and flour in a bowl. Set aside.

Add eggs and olive oil into a stand alone mixer bowl with bread hook attachment in place. Turn on to mix at a 2 speed. Slowly add flour mixture and let it run until all flour is cleaned from bowl and there is a ball of dough in the bowl. Turn off mixer and remove dough to a floured surface. Dough should feel pretty sturdy.

Pasta Attachment:

Follow instructions to make whatever pasta you will be making.

--------------------------------

BY HAND:

pour flour and salt together in a bowl and mix. Make a well in the center and add all eggs and olive oil. Work all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed and a dough ball is formed. When dough is formed, make your pasta.

MAKING PASTA BY HAND:

Take ball of dough and divide in half so you have room to roll it out.

Sprinkle flour on a large clean surface and set down half of your dough.

Roll dough out until it is so thin that you can see your hand behind it but not so thin that there are holes. Cut into the shape you are making. For fettucine and linguine, it is best to roll the dough gently into a tube and cut into strips and unravel each noodle. For ravioli, cut identically sized strips, at least 2" wide (go larger for big ravs) and fill and seal.

TO COOK PASTA:

When pasta is ready to cook, boil for only 3 minutes before layering into the lasagna. Also, you have the power to decide based on your texture preference. :-)


Lasagna Directions:

Boil noodles to "al dente" texture, drain, toss in olive oil and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add 4 TBSP olive oil, shallot, garlic, ground beef, and italian sausage. break up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula while you cook it so it becomes crumbly. Add red pepper flakes and stir until blended. Cook until meat is crumbly and done. Drain and add the tomato sauce into the meat mixture until it is well blended. Set Aside.


In a medium bowl, add ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 1 cup parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of mozzarella . Mix until very well blended. Set Aside.


In a 9"x13" baking dish, add a 1/4 cup of sauce mixture. Place a single layer of lasagna pasta sheets on the saucy bottom of the dish. Scoop about 1 cup of ricotta mixture over the pasta and gently smooth it over the surface. Place about 1 cup of sauce mixture and spread over the cheesy noodles. Now place another single layer of pasta sheets over the entire saucy surface. Spoon a cup of cheese mixture and gently spread it over the pasta sheets. Now, scoop a cup of sauce mixture on top of the cheesy layer and spread it gently with a spoon to cover the entire surface. Repeat making layers until you reach the surface of the dish. The final layer (top) should be a noodle layer, then sauce, then 2 cups of shredded mozzarella.


Place the baking dish of lasagna on a cookie sheet so it won't drip on your oven. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes. Check the cheese often to make sure it doesn't overcook. If it starts to brown too soon, place a toothpick int he center of the dih and leave it there. Then cover with foil and continue baking. The toothpick will keep the foil from falling and sticking tot he cheese top. Bake until sauce is bubbling and the cheee is melted and beginning to turn golden in spots (see Image above!).






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