As an Amateur Chef of sorts, I love experimenting with flavors and textures in my recipes.
This time I took my Lasagna Recipe and added some extra special ingredients to enhance the flavor and add a different texture to my Meat Lasagna Recipe. I’m certain when you try this you’ll love it as much as I do.
1 and a 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
1 Package Uncooked Lasagna Noodles
1 Pound Ricotta Cheese
1 Pound Parmesan (grated)
1 Pound Pepperoni (sliced)
1 Tin Diced Tomatoes
1 Tin Tomato Paste
1/2 Cup Onions (diced)
4 Cloves Garlic (diced)
4 Tablespoons Pure Olive Oil
20 Whole Mushrooms ( Cremini or White )
1 Tin Anchovies
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Chili Pepper Flakes
4 Tablespoons Sugar
2and a 1/2 Cups Red Wine (optional)
2 Cups Water
1/2 T-Spoon each Basil, Oregano, Mint
Sauce Preparation:In a large skillet using Medium heat on your stove top, heat up 2 to 3 Table Spoons of Pure olive oil and saute your Onions and Garlic until both are soft and translucent.
Gradually add in your Ground Beef, Basil, Oregano, Mint, and Bay Leaf, allowing the spices and the meat to gently blend together or as we say in the culinary field "Marry Together".
Once the Beef is browned, add in your Mushrooms allowing them to soften up and take on the flavor of the beef.
[ Once this mixture is cooked, drain off the excess oils and fat. ]
Now Add in your Diced Tomatoes and your Tomato Paste. Rince the Tomato Paste tin with some of your water and pour in the rest of the water, and the Red Wine, and add in your Sugar, and gently stir everything, until is all incorporated together.
As a Hint, I prefer my meat sauce to be on the sweet-side, so periodically while the sauce is simmering, I will taste it and if necessary add in some extra sugar.
Turn your burner heat down to Low and Simmer your Sauce (Uncovered) for a minimum of 2 Hours. The longer this sauce is allowed to simmer, the better the flavor of the sauce. I usually let mine go for between 4-6 Hours.
Pasta Preparations:This should be done about 1 hour prior to assembling your dish for the oven cooking step.
Bring to boil a large pot of water with a Table-Spoon of Olive Oil and Kosher Salt or Table Salt added in.
Once the water is rapidly boiling place into the water your Lasagna Pasta giving it a gentle stir. Cook your Pasta until it is softened to an Al Dente texture or softer and drain off the Pasta and lay it out flat on a towel letting it cool.
Assembling The Dish For The Oven:Pre heat your Oven to 325 Degrees F.
Take your Baking Dish and thoroughly apply a thin coating of cooking oil to the bottom and the sides making certain it is thoroughly coated. If you have a cooking "Spray" this is great.
We are going to build this into 3 levels.
Lay in your foundation a layer of Pasta insuring that the bottom of the dish is covered. Next add in a layering of your Ricotta, then add a layering of your meat sauce, and then a layering of your Mozzerella, top this off with your Pepperoni, before adding your next layer of Pasta.
You can keep this layering in the same order everytime for the next two levels, or, if you choose, you can mix and match the layerings.
Your top should be a layering of Pasta.
Here is where the twist comes in. Top off this Pasta Layer with some Anchovies and a smothering of Mozzerella Cheese and top that off with your Parmesan.
Place this into your 325 Degree Pre-Heated Oven for about 45 Minutes or until the cheeses on the top are brown and bubbly.
Remove your Lasagna from the oven and let it sit for atleast 10-15 minutes to allow for all of the flavors to come together.
Your Ready to serve. I love having this with some Hot Garlic Bread.
This is one meal in itself, or, you can serve it as a "Side Dish" too. Either way you’ll love the tastes and textures and the yumminess of this Lasagna Dish created especially for you in mind.