Friday, December 28, 2012

Classic Lasagna

My family is a bit unique. Rather than have a Christmas ham, or a roast, or even a turkey...we have lasagna. Yep. Italian lasagna, made that morning by Freddi and me, as we host this holiday. With meatballs, made the weekend before. And garlic bread, made by yours truly. Oh and we throw some vegetables on the table, although barely anyone eats them because we're too busy chowing down on the lasagna.

This is our tradition. Just like many people only have turkey with the works on Thanksgiving, my clan only has lasagna on Christmas Day. I think there would be an uprising if my mum ever tried to change the plan. Most likely a violent uprising. 

Freddi said she wanted to change the recipe this year, add sausage. My family loves sausage. Want to know what my family loves more than sausage? My mum's classic lasagna. Her suggestion was met with...something significantly less than excitement. More along the lines of anger. Maybe a little less than anger, because my mum gave up the idea pretty quickly once we all voiced our displeasure. But man, if she had tried to keep that going...I shudder to think of what could have happened...

All of the homecooks out there? Simple suggestion. Don't mess with tradition. Don't even suggest messing with tradition. It doesn't go over well with the masses.

(yes, this is a picture of the lasagna before it went in the oven. What can I say, once it comes out, we're on it like we haven't eaten in days. I think I would have had my hand bitten off if I tried to stop people from eating so I could take pictures. And I'm pretty partial to my hands...)


Lasagna noodles (do NOT get the no-boil kind. They are gross. Seriously. Don't do it)
Large container (two lbs) of part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 c of Parmesan cheese
Two eggs, beaten
8 oz. of mozzarella, diced (not the fresh kind)
Premade tomato sauce (we made ours the week before when we made our meatballs, but use jarred if you prefer not to do this step yourself)
One bag of grated mozzarella

olive oil and tomato sauce on bottom


1. Heat a pot of water to boiling and cook the noodles per the package directions. Once boiled, lay on the counter on wax paper.

2. While the noodles are cooking, create your cheese filling. In a (large) bowl, mix the ricotta, parmesan, beaten eggs and parsley. Using a hand mixer, combine until fluffy. Once mixed, add your diced mozzarella and combine by hand.

3. Preheat your oven to 350F. In your lasagna pan, pour a bit of olive oil in the bottom. Spoon tomato sauce over top. Tilt the pan in all directions to ensure the entire bottom is covered.

4. Begin putting together your lasagna. In order, place the lasagna noodles in the pan, followed by small scoops of your cheese mixture placed about two inches apart and covered with tomato sauce. Repeat. When you finish your final layer, cover it only with tomato sauce.

5. Cover your lasagna with tinfoil and place in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or, if you remove the tin foil and touch the top, it is hot. 

6. Sprinkle grated mozzarella across the top. Bake for an addition 10 - 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes so you can slice easily. Enjoy!

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