To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone. -Reba McEntire
Hey everyone! I am finally finished with exams and it has been a rather long day of chores and clean up (my study space looked like a hurricane hit it) and now I am free to blog, watch movies, and enjoy my break to the fullest! Closer and closer to Christmas and new years! I don’t know if it’s just me but the prep for Christmas seems to be the best part of the holidays. Shopping for gifts, wrapping, decorating, listening to cheery holiday music, sipping hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies, and of course looking forward to the big Christmas dinner. It’s always such a happy time of the year.
I had some phenomenal lasagna just now. A neighbor of mine dropped off a couple slices for me to try; it was a very kind gesture on his behalf (him and his wife are from Italy and make ridiculously good food). This lasagna got me thinking about the last time I had lasagna that tasted that good…and honestly I can’t say I have! There is, however, one recipe which can be compared to my neighbor’s lasagna and I feel that even though it is not a holiday dish…it doesn’t matter, I will share the recipe with you anyway. Who doesn’t love lasagna?! It’s a dish good for any season and just about any occasion hehe! This recipe for the Italian-American classic was taken from Emeril Lagasse (a famous chef), I have tried it before and though it takes some time…boy is it ever worth it; it’s definitely my favorite of all lasagna recipes I have ever tried. Give it a go!
2 cups fresh ricotta
8 ounces grated Provolone
8 ounces grated Mozzarella
8 ounces grated Romano
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon chiffonade of fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 serving of Emeril’s Meat Sauce, recipe follows
1/2 pound grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 package of dried lasagna noodles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, Provolone, Mozzarella, Romano, egg, milk, basil and garlic. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble, spread 2 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of a deep dish lasagna pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the grated cheese over the sauce. Cover the cheese with 1/4 of the dried noodles. Spread a 1/4 of the cheese filling evenly over the noodles. Repeat the above process with the remaining ingredients, toping the lasagna with the remaining sauce.
- Place in the oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Slice and serve.
Emeril’s Meat Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 pound ground beef
1/3 pound ground veal
1/3 pound ground pork
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 (28-ounce) can of peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
4 cups beef stock or water
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano
How to Prepare it: In a large nonreactive saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. In a mixing bowl, combine the meat. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. When the oil is hot, add the meat and brown for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the tomato paste with the stock and add to the tomatoes. Add the thyme, bay leaves, oregano, basil and red pepper. Mix well. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if needed. During the last 30 minutes or cooking, reseason with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.