Taste and Tunes Tuesday - Lasagna Meets Thin Lizzy
In keeping with the music and food combination of Grubs and Grooves, I have decided to start pairing my recipes I share with a song. I absolutely cannot be in the kitchen cooking without some tunes (or a glass of wine or beer). So I hope the music puts you in the mood to cook as well. To kick off my favorite lasagna recipe, lets listen to "The Boys Are Back in Town" from rock band Thin Lizzy. The song was originally released in 1976 on their album Jailbreak.
First things first, you need the ingredients! There will be two sets, one for the lasagna and one for the tomato sauce if you chose to make it homemade, which you should because it is so easy!
1/2 lb beef (80/20)
1/4 lb Italian sausage
1/4 lb Hot Italian sausage ( or if you prefer just do 1/2 lb of plain Italian sausage)
1 tbsp each: fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh rosemary (or 3 tbsp of an Italian blend of herbs)
1/2 large yellow onion chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped, divided
1 box lasagna noodles boiled al dente (You wont use the entire box, but just in case)
2 cans of your favorite marinara sauce (roughly 48 oz) OR made homemade tomato sauce!!!
1 16 oz container ricotta
4 tbsp pesto ( I like Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto)
1/2 cup Parmesan shredded
4-6 cups mozzarella shredded (or a blend of Italian white cheeses) ( I like Sargento® Shredded Mozzarella Natural Cheese, Traditional Cut, 16 oz. (4 cups)
First up, get out your ricotta. We want it to start the process of drying out. Spread it over a plate or large bowl and cover with a paper towel for 30 minutes. Replace the paper towel and cover for 30 more minutes (1 hour total).
Then we are going to start with a super easy homemade tomato sauce. ( If you use can or jar, skip this recipe)
Homemade Tomato Sauce
INGREDIENTS 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes ( I like Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with Basil ) 1/2 medium white onion, diced 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced ( I actually used a orange and a yellow carrot) 4 medium garlic cloves, crushed 1 tablespoon sugar 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper
PREPARATION Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onions, salt and pepper, and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots are softened. Add garlic and cook until garlic is lightly browned.
Turn heat up to medium-high (have pot lid ready) and pour crushed tomatoes into pan. Stir in basil. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in sugar and reduce heat to simmer until thickened.
Stir in parsley and cover continuing to cook on low while you make lasagna.
Preheat oven to 375.
In a skillet crumble and cook beef, sausage, onion, herbs, and 2 diced garlic cloves.
If using jar or can tomato sauce add it to a large sauce pan and warm it up. Make sure to cover it because it will start to bubble and splash.
After beef and pork is cooked through add to the tomato sauce, do not drain. Simmer until you are ready to assemble lasagna.
Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions. ( Make sure you salt the water)
In a bowl mix somewhat dried ricotta, egg, pesto, 2 diced garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese.
Now it's time to layer your lasagna!
In a 9x13 pan, spread a THIN layer of sauce. Next lay out your first layer of noodles and cover with meat sauce.
Add a generous layer of mozzarella. ( I used a entire bag)
Then another layer of noodles topped with the ricotta blend. Sprinkle with more mozzerella.
One more layer of noodles and add the rest of the sauce.
Cover it with foil, poke a few wholes for vents and bake for 30 minutes.
Take the pan out and remove the foil.
Now put on the last layer of mozzarella cheese! I like to add a little garlic powder, onion salt, and Parmesan to the top for extra flavor. ** I crumbled fresh mozzarella on top of mine because I had some in the fridge.
Bake for another 20ish minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly
ENJOY!!! It should last a few days covered in the fridge.. but it is so delicious mine never makes it past a day!