Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kitchen Confessions: World's Second Best Lasagna

Every Sunday night I ask everyone what they would like to eat for dinner that week, and then on Monday morning I do our grocery shopping. 

The requests usually sound something like...
"Steak."
"Peanut butter sandwiches."
"Not a crockpot meal."
"Grilled chicken."
"French Fries."
"Not a crockpot meal."
"Black and Blue Salad."
"Donuts."
"Not a crockpot meal."

You get the idea.

By the way the donut request might have been from me.

Well this week the hubby requested something different, Lasagna. Hmm...that sounds yummy. I have never made one before, but being a lover of all things pasta and Italian, I gladly added it to the list. 

I did a quick google search, and found a delicious sounding recipe titled "World's Best Lasagna". Who was I to argue? 

I printed the recipe and headed off to the grocery store fully armed...in yoga pants and a certain popular fall caffinated beverage in hand. If I was heading to the grocery store, and having to divert from my normal five item five minute trip with two very busy toddlers, I needed to be fully prepared in both energy and flexibility to keep all curious grabby hands in the cart. 

I should have paid a little more attention to the recipe because once I got to the grocery store, I realized the list of ingredients was staggering! And the prep time even longer! 

It called for homemade sauce to start. Homemade sauce before all the ingredients. Holy cow! Remember, I am new to all ventures outside of baked chicken and chicken in a crockpot. Homemade sauce is definitely outside of my vast cooking abilities. 

Do people actually spend over five hours making a meal? And like it?!?!? How do moms do this? Do they sleep? 

Who am I kidding, no. No, they don't sleep. They are putting everyone to bed and then cooking homemade sauce all night. That is the only explanation. Or I have this whole stay at home mommy thing and time management thing wrong. 

Maybe I will get to that level of cooking enjoyment one day. Maybe. Maybe one day I will also love trips to the gyno... 

Not one to shy away from a challenge, I wheeled our little crew down the pasta aisle and gladly tossed a jar of my favorite marinara sauce in the car. I crossed that portion of the recipe off my list, and happily cut off several hours of prep time. I shimmied away in my yoga pants with a smile. 

I paused a moment and pulled out my handy iPhone, and did another search for a new lasagna recipe. I found one that looked easily more manageable, and funnily enough was also dubbed the "World's Best Lasagna".  With a newfound sense of direction, I handed my iPhone over to my anxious cart riding toddlers and finished out my ingredient search (and grabbed an extra box of Cheerios because after this foray that is what everyone will be getting the rest of the week for dinner). 

By the way, this is the point in my trip that I began to think my husband's requests were becoming a little extravagant. I'm beginning to think for all this hard work I should ask for some extravagance in return.


Just saying.

I made my way home, and once The Cutes were down for their nap, I followed my new recipe. It definitely was much easier, and with my altered addition of jar sauce (gasp), it didn't take too long to prep at all. 

Once done it might not have been the prettiest thing in the world, but boy was it delicious! The kids gobbled it up and the hubs cleaned his plate. 

I was just about to do an Italian style fist pump in the name of success when the hubs said, "That was delicious! But did you use jar sauce?"  

Hope you enjoy those Cheerios tomorrow night buddy. Mama just saved the leftovers for herself. 

So here it is... 


World's Second Best Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients:
- 1lb. of Italian Sausage
- 3/4lb of lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 28oz. can of tomato paste*
- 2 6 oz. cans of canned tomato sauce*
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar*
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 16 oz of ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4lb mozzarella cheese sliced
- 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

*I substituted my favorite jar sauce for these ingredients. 

Directions: 
1: In a large pot or dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. 

2: Stir in sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

3: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4: Assemble in a 9x13 baking dish: 
- spread a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom
- arrange layer of noodles over sauce
- spread layer of noodles with ricotta cheese layer
- Top with mozzarella slices
- Spoon meat sauce over mozzarella slices
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
- Repeat layers

5: Cover with foil. (Note: Spray foil with cook spray to ensure the foil doesn't stick to the cheese.)

6: Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for an additional 25 minutes.

7: Cool for approximately 10 to 15 minutes and then serve and enjoy!


"Delicious Mom! But is this jar sauce I detect? "


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3 comments:

  1. I've made my own sauce before. Pre-kids. And it was horrible. There are 879 choices on the jar-sauce aisle for a reason -- nobody makes their own!! I will say that its worth a splurge occasionally to buy the Rao's sauce. Maybe you could quickly hide the evidence and claim it as your own? Your family would be impressed!

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    Replies
    1. Katie, exactly! Who am I to challenge clear experts? ;) I am definitely going to have to try that sauce!

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  2. Thanks for the recipe Jen! I made this last week and it was delicious!! :) And I agree...who makes homemade sauce anymore?? Definitely took the short cut and didn't notice at all!

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