Sunday, May 15, 2011

Episode 32 - Lasagna of Love.

Share it Please
aka Three-Cheese and Spinach Lasagna

Sometimes I kinda suck at being one of those "there-for-you" people....actually I usually suck at it.  I never know what to say, I make jokes at the wrong times and am basically just entirely awkward.  Hence this lasagna comes into play.  I don't know how to make you feel better with words so instead I will fill you with mountains of cheese and hope that you get the message.  Everyone knows cheese is synonymous with love right?  Right?!

8 oven ready lasagna noodles
1 small brick of mozzarella cheese, about 4 cups shredded
1 handful asiago cheese, shredded

Spinach-y Cheese Layer:
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 tub light ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 pinch of each salt, pepper and nutmeg

Dawson's Famous Meat Sauce:
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper to taste

First, start with the meat sauce.  This is Dawson's department.  He's a professional tomato-saucier.  I highly recommend finding yourself one just like him to fulfill all of your tomato sauce dreams.  You can't have this one though...he's mine.  Muhahahahaha!  Ok, so brown your meat in a large pot over medium heat.  Drain some of the fat off then throw in the onions and garlic and let them cook up for a few minutes while you stir them around.  Next add in all of the herbs (oregano, rosemary and basil) and salt and pepper.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Now add the tomatoes and tomato paste, vinegar and Worcestershire, bring to a boil then simmer covered over low heat for at least 30 minutes.  The longer the better.

While the sauce is simmering make your spinach-y cheese layer.  Squeeze as much of the gross green water out of the spinach as you can using paper towels.  Mix the now dry-ish spinach in a big bowl with the egg.  Once it's mixed up and kinda gross looking add in the entire container of ricotta and mix.  Season with salt pepper and nutmeg and you're done.

Now it's construction time!  Put a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Next make a layer of dry noodles.  Just FYI make sure you use oven ready noodles or this will not work at all...unless you like your lasagna on the crunchy side.  Anyways, cover with about half of your meat sauce, then half of the spinach-y cheese layer and half of your mozzarella.  Then start again - noodles, meat sauce, spinach-y cheese and end with the mozzarella layer.  Last but not least sprinkle the handful of asiago all over the top.  Cover with foil then bake at 375 for 45 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 15.  The top cheese should get nice and golden.  Finally, remove from the oven and find someway to occupy your self for 15 minutes while it rests on the counter.  Don't skip this part or your whole lasagna will fall apart into a cheesy soupy mess.  Be patient.  Make garlic bread, play with the dog, dance around your kitchen singing along to Ke$ha songs...just don't cut the lasagna for at least 15 minutes.  It'll be worth the wait!

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