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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

World's Best Lasagna

When you're drowning in a crimson tide of homegrown, heirloom tomatoes like this:


one of the myriad things you can do with them is make sauce. The good thing about sauce is, you can freeze it for later. We usually keep them in quart-sized freezer bags and pull them out as needed.

To make the sauce, we boiled down 15 lbs of heirloom tomatoes plus chunks of bell peppers, diced onions, sugar and salt until the sauce was reduced by half. I buzzed it with the hand blender until smooth. This was the most amazing tomato sauce ever - so sweet and savory at the same time!



Annie made lasagna based off the "World's Best Lasagna" recipe from RecipeZaar

WORLD'S BEST LASAGNA


INGREDIENTS


1 lb sweet Italian sausage links
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6 1/2 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.


  1. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
  2. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.

  3. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

  5. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.

  6. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.

  7. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  9. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.

  10. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.

  11. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture.

  12. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.

  13. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

  14. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

  15. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

  16. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

  17. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.

  18. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

We used the fresh homemade heirloom tomato sauce instead of canned, ground turkey instead of ground beef, fresh basil leaves instead of dried, and fresh spinach (cooked down) instead of frozen spinach. We also upped the cheese to 1 lb of low-fat mozzarella, grated.


It's been almost a year since I had lasagna, so I took a larger than normal size piece. But good thing I didn't go back for seconds like my mouth was telling me to. This was a heavy meal! *urp*
If you love lasagna as much as I do, I recommend you try this World's Best Lasagna recipe. You won't be disappointed!

Aloha.

Other favorite recipes using tomatoes:

Gazpacho, Strawberry and Tomato Salad with Maple, and Lomi Lomi Salmon.

1 Comment:

Fosco Gamgee Whitfurrows said...

Dang NAthan. I'm about to have a fit looking at those tomatoes. I can't wait until August or so. Diane ended up getting 4 6x12 lots at the pea patch so I should have lots of room for tomatoes.