Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ree Drummond's Meaty Lasagna

So I lied. I promised to post some of the make-ahead meals I've made last month to stock up for the upcoming arrival of my 2nd baby. Well, let's just say that it got quite busy around the house and I got quite lazy. I returned to work after being put on bed rest for 2 weeks and I've lost all my energy to do anything else. However, I still  managed to make a few dishes that I've stocked up in the freezer, including this new recipe from The Pioneer Woman, which she featured on the Food Network one day.

I've been on a search for a great lasagna recipe for quite some time. I really wanted a hearty and meaty lasagna. With this recipe, I think I found what I'm looking for. The recipe was quite easy to make. I doubled the recipe so that I can make multiple small trays to freeze. I baked one of the frozen trays today and it was just as yummy and comforting as when I originally made it last month. My search for a great lasagna has ended.

1 Tbsp. oil
2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. breakfast sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
10 oz lasagna noodles
1 lb. shredded mozzarella
10-12 fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten

1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute ground beef, sausage, and garlic until brown. Drain off the excess fat. Add tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir together well. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add half of the fresh basil and half of the chopped parsley. Stir well.

2) Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain noodles and lay them flat on aluminum foil to keep its shape.

3) Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

4) In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, and the remaining basil and parsley.

5) To assemble the lasagna, spread about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture on the bottom of a deep, rectangular baking dish. Lay 4 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping each other. Evenly spread about half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta cheese. Spoon about 1/3 of the meat mixture over the mozzarella cheese. Repeat process ending with the meat sauce, then topped with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

6) Bake until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

** To freeze, tightly seal the assembled, unbaked lasagna with plastic wrap. Cover with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake in a preheated 375 deg oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.