The final product coming out of the oven
Admittedly this blog was not my idea. I’ve done blogging before but never about food, or anything remotely related to food for that matter. However, I have found myself cooking at home more and more over the past couple of month (the amount of time that we’ve been cooking meat at home) and thought it was a fantastic idea to chronicle my/our wanderings through this new world of meaty goodness. Mmmmm meaty-goodness /drool.
The last box of meat we got contained 4 lbs of ground meat (2 lbs of ground beef and 2 lbs of ground goat). This is in addition to the 2 lbs of ground beef that we weren’t able to finish off last month.
I’ve never really cooked with ground meat, and it’s been a challenge to find things other than meat balls and meat loaf to cook with it. With this challenge in mind I set out to find something fun to make with one of the three pounds of ground beef we had in our freezer before that ends up being all we have in there.
As I set out on my mission I did what any new cook would do… I found a recipe. I’ve recently found www.allrecipes.com to be incredibly helpful, especially their ingredient search where you can input the ingredients you want/don’t want to use and search for recipes based on that. While browsing I came across the a recipe for “Yummy Lasagna“… and who can pass that up?
The recipe is and ingredients are simple enough:
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2/3 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 2 pounds ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 (8 ounce) package sliced pepperoni sausage
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef until brown; drain. In small saucepan, heat spaghetti sauce.
- In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, Romano, egg, basil and garlic.
- Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Place 3 or 4 noodles, overlapping edges, over sauce. Spread half of ricotta mixture over noodles. Cover ricotta with half of browned beef, half of pepperoni slices, and 1/4 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat sauce, noodle, ricotta, meat and cheese layers. Layer sauce and noodles again, and pour remaining sauce over all, being sure to cover the edges. Top with remaining mozzarella.
- Cover pan with foil and pierce foil 3 or 4 times with fork to ventilate. Bake 45 minutes, remove foil, and bake 15 minutes more to brown the top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
And this is where I run into trouble with blogging about food… what now?
Cheesy Mash of Goodness
I found the recipe easy enough to make. I used pre-boiled noodles to save time, and used shredded Parmesan Cheese instead of Romano, but other than that I stuck pretty close to the original recipe.
My favorite part, of course, was mixing the Ricotta, Parmesan, Egg and Basil until they became a cheesy mash of goodness, but who wouldn’t like that? Once all the meat was cooked, sauce was prepped and the cheesy mash of goodness was ready to go I began layering everything together in my 9×13 glass dish, taking special care to make sure it looked as pretty as I could. I ran out of sauce about halfway thought, so if anyone is thinking of trying this recipe I’d recommend doubling the amount of sauce. Besides that though, everything was exceptionally easy to do.
After a tortuously delicious smelling 45 minute stint in the oven, we were ready dig in and eat. We had a half bottle of The Little Penguin Shiraz, which wasn’t anything to write home about on its own, but which sweetness really complimented the Lasagna well. The beef was a little bland, but the pepperoni helped to make up for that. If I were to make it again I might have added something more to the beef while it was cooking to add a bit more flavor.
Overall I found this to be a delicious use of the ground beef, even if there were a couple of small things that I would have changed about the recipe. I can’t wait to see how the leftovers turned out!