31 August 2012

danielle and her mama's lasagna

I am so happy to introduce you all to Danielle - she is the sweetest, for real.
And she's got an awesome recipe for you!

I'm Danielle from Daniellesque
I blog about all things I care about - my faith, family, friends, adventures in southern California 
and the journey of my prayer ministry, Knit Together By Love. 
I enjoy reading and crafting so sometimes I post book reviews and craft tutorials. 
The strangest hobby I have is chasing after celebrities in nearby Los Angeles; it's not that I get starstruck necessarily, 
I see it more as a scavenger hunt with moving objects!
 I'm pretty close to being in love with Jerry Trainor of iCarly, 
but don't tell my amazing boyfriend Tyler that, because he gets pretty jealous {understandably}. 
I would love it if you would come over to my blog and join me on my adventures or just stop by to say hello! 

Mama's Lasagna 

I'm sharing my mom's recipe for classic lasagna today and dubbing it Mama's Lasagna because it's a wonderfully customizable, wholesome and comforting classic any mom can make to please the whole family. My mom raised 5 kids, each with different tastes and one who has been a vegetarian by choice since age 4; whenever she made her famous lasagna, half the dish was simple and the other half full of vegetables and meat sauce to please all of our tastes. Add your own flair to this basic version and have fun with it because I promise it's really difficult to mess up and delicious every time!

       No Boil Lasagna Noodles (we use Barilla)
    1 LB ground meat (turkey or beef – optional if you want vegetarian lasagna)
      1- 24 oz jar of pasta sauce (or make your own!)
      1-14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
     1-14.5 oz can tomato sauce or paste
      ½ to ¾ cup chopped onions (depending on taste)
     1- 32 oz container of Ricotta cheese 
     8-12 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese (more if preferred)
      Minced Garlic (to taste)
      Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      Seasonings to taste (garlic salt, pepper, etc)
     Optional: olives, mushrooms, anything creative!

Preheat oven to 375°F
1.       Make your meat sauce:
In a large skillet, sauté minced garlic with EVOO until garlic is browned
   Add chopped onions, then add ground meat
 Cook until about 75% done as the meat will continue to cook in the oven
Drain oil from meat mixture and set aside 
{make sure you drain, this is the only place you can mess up the recipe}
In your now empty skillet, pour pasta sauce, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce/paste, basil, garlic and let simmer. 
Stir in drained meat, season to taste with garlic salt, pepper, etc.
 Add anything to your sauce mixture you want in the whole lasagna pan. 

2.       Layer your Lasagna into a 9" x 13" baking dish: 
 Spread a very thin layer of sauce on bottom (this will act as an adhesive for your noodles)
Layer no boil Lasagna noodles over the bottom of dish, overlapping is fine
 Spread a layer of ricotta over the noodles (use a rubber spatula for easy spreading)
  Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella over the ricotta (as much or little as you want)
Ladle your meat sauce over the mozzarella. At this point you can add olives, mushrooms or anything else you can think of to all or half of your lasagna. We made ours with olives and mushrooms on half to appease family members who don’t like the veggies.
Repeat the layers: lasagna noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, meat sauce
Sprinkle top with remaining shredded mozzarella, olives, mushrooms and anything else that sounds good!

3.       Bake at 375° for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden brown. We probably could have kept ours in for a little longer so that the lasagna maintained its shape in the pictures, but it was too delicious to wait any more for this yummy dinner! 

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