Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pasta Lasagna

Some of my readers know that my husband is a professional chef and teacher. He teaches inmates to cook at a state institution for certification. They can then get better jobs when they leave the institution. Also, he is a Great Chef! I know I am prejudiced but there it is...

I have been trying to talk him into writing up a recipe or two for us here on the blog and finally we have a keeper! He made this for dinner last night and I asked him to write it up today and he did!!

Dosen't this look super???
Here is the recipe:


Experience the thrill of troweling lofty layers of meat sauce into your lasagna. The secret ingredient is ditalini, a pasta with a shape that complements that of lasagna.


12 lasagna noodles ( 3 more than you need, just in case)
8 oz. ditalini
1 lb. part skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 t. dried leaf basil
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ lean ground beef
1 – 28 oz. can tomato puree
2 T. sugar
2 oz. finely diced onion
1 T. leaf oregano
1 – 14 oz. can of tomato sauce
12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

You will need a 13 x 9 x 2 standard pan

Mix together until smooth : 1 lb. ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 2 T. fresh parsley , 1 t. salt, 1 t. dry basil leaf, and ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Bring to a boil: a large kettle with about 6 quarts of salted water. Cook 12 lasagna noodles according to package directions, Cool immediately using cold water.

Also bring to a boil ; another kettle with about 4 quarts of salted water. Cook the ditalini for 20 minutes ( it really takes this long ). Cool immediately.

In a large mixing bowl combine the can of tomato puree, 2 T. sugar, 2 T. leaf oregano, crushed in your hand and about 1 ½ cups of water.

In a dry preheated heavy skillet , break up 1 ½ lb. of lean ground chuck or ground round. Throw in about 2 oz. of finely diced onions. Season with 1 ½ t. salt, a generous grinding of black pepper, and 1 t. of granulated garlic. Keep the heat at medium until the ground beef is done through and the onions are translucent. Drain off any grease.

Mix the tomato sauce with the meat and the ditalini. Taste for salt and pepper.

Now it is time to layer the lasagna. Begin with 4 oz of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan. Top that with 3 lasagna noodles. Then spread a nice thick layer of the meat- tomato sauce- ditalini combination. Top that with 3 more noodles; spread them with 4 oz. of tomato sauce, then spread all the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 3 more noodles. Put on another thick layer of the meat sauce. Top that with the remaining tomato sauce and 12 oz of mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until it bubbles enthusiastically. Don’`t cut the lasagna for at least 30 minutes ( or maybe 45 minutes).

Check it out....

Living should be perpetual and universal benediction.
- Why Lazurus Laughed by Wei Wu Wei...


s.j.simon said...

:) did you know how cheese was invented? It wasnt necessity, it was an accident, read this

Lynda said...

Now that is interesting-I did know a little about milk hanging on saddle bags and all. What I want to know is who tried it first???