I’ve never made lasagna for The Dude. We’ve been together 4 years and in all that time, I’ve never made it for him. No particular reason, just haven’t made it. He’s been reminding me of that alot lately. So, since I’ve taken a vacation day today waiting for the tractor repair guy to come and get our lawn tractor (yes, we have a big yard) I thought I’d better get moving on some lasagna. Besides, my dear husband e-mailed me and made a suggestion for it. How can I turn him down?
I’ve been making variations of this dish for more years than I like to admit to. Sometimes with meat or Italian sausage, sometimes with spinach, sometimes just plain old cheese lasagna. That’s what you are getting today. Basic, rib-sticking, yummy lasagna. One thing I did add for a change up was some olive tapanade in the tomato sauce. Saw it in the fridge and thought it would add a nice flavor to the sauce. Doesn’t take long to make (plus you can do everything in advance), and it feeds a large group of people. So invite some friends over, crack open a nice Italian red table wine, and serve with a green salad with olive oil and basamic vinegar, plus some crusty bread. Buon Appetito!
- 1 box lasagna pasta (16 oz)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 TBSP olive tapanade
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 pounds ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 2 TBSP parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup parmensan cheese, grated
- 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta as directed on package. Drain and rinse in cold water.
In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat and add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes and the wine. Combine and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the 1/2 tsp of sugar. Salt to taste. Take off heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, parmesan and salt and pepper. Mix well.
Assemble the lasagna in a 9 x 13 pan that has been coated in oil. Put one layer of pasta, Take half of the cheese mixture and spread over the pasta. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta, cheeses and sauce. Cover with the last layer of pasta. Spread another layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil. At this point you can pop it in the fridge until ready to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour – covered. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.