A couple of people have asked for my lasagna recipe and although it varies from batch to batch, I figured I'd go ahead and document yesterday's preparation because it includes all of the fundamentals and a nice, light sauce that works well in a dish that can otherwise be a little heavy.
- 1 package lasagna noodles
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
- Fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, etc.), finely chopped
- 4 cups grated or shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 - 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- To prepare sauce, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.
- Add carrot and celery and saute another minute.
- Add tomato, salt and sugar.
- Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- Brown ground beef with garlic.
- Mix cooked beef with sauce.
- Cook noodles according to package directions; drain, rinse and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix ricotta with egg, spinach and herbs.
- Spread a layer of sauce mixture in the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking dish
- Alternate layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta mixture and mozzarella as desired, ending with mozzarella over a layer of sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes, uncovering for the last 15 minutes so the cheese can lightly brown.
I have a mini Cuisinart that works great for the fine chopping. However, you can accomplish the same thing with a spring-loaded food chopper or a chef's knife.
You'll notice that this recipe contains a lot of vegetables. However, only the tomato is in evidence by the time the dish has been baked, unless you count the tiny flecks of green in the ricotta layer. So if you have picky kids or other veggie-haters in your household, this is a good recipe for sneaking some veggies in.
Photo credit: Annalisa Antonini