Sunday, March 25, 2012

Homemade Lasagna

I can't count the number of times I've sat with either my mom, grandmother, or mother in law and watched (and helped) them make lasagna.  HOWEVER - I've never made it myself.  And I think that in all the times that I "helped," I came into the process quite late so I really just helped with the assembly process.

This weekend, my sister's future mother in law was visiting and they were going for the food tasting at the reception hall.  In any case, my mom hosted a dinner Saturday night, not only because of our company, but also because my dad celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday!  She decided on Lasagna and salad, but due to time constraints on her end, I offered to make the lasagna.

Let me tell you.  It was A LOT of work.  I now understand why we only have lasagna on big holidays.  It took about 3 1/2 - 4 hours....

The order in which I made everything:
1) Gravy (sauce, to some of you....)
       I used my mother in law's recipe for gravy since it's a bit thicker than my mom's and thought it would stand up better (which it did).  I sauteed onions and hot sausage in oil, added in tomato paste, puree, and water, basil, and a bit of sugar (to cut the acidity of the tomato).  Stir, stir, stir (and taste to make sure it's good). 

2) Meatball mixture.  
       This took the longest - because after I mixed them up, I had to roll them all!  And YES - I made individual meatballs for the lasagna.  Tiny little itty bitty meatballs.  It took forever.  But the taste is to DIE for.  It really changes the texture and taste of the lasagna.  Ground beef, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned breadcrumbs.  Then rolled, and fried.

3) Cheeses
       My mom taught me the step of cheeses:  2 lbs of ricotta cheese, grated cheese (I believe I had Peccorino Romano in the fridge), 2 eggs, pepper (you don't really need salt since there's so much in the cheese), and fresh parsley.  All mixed together.  YUM
       I also had a nice block of scamorza cheese - it's very similar to mozzarella cheese but melts better.  I grated this on the box grater.

4)  Assembly
       In a lasagna pan, I layered as follows:
              Noodle (I bought the Barilla noodles that do not require boiling - saves time and space!!)
              Shredded scamorza cheese
              Ricotta mixture
              Shredded scamorza cheese
              Mix of meatballs, Ricotta mixture and scamorza
              Grated Cheese
Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours at 350*  Set for at least 1/2 hour before cutting and serving to allow to set!


1 comment:

  1. Camille, your first lasagna (on your own) looks fantastic! I love that you used little meatballs in there too, what a great idea for texture and flavor. I've never had my lasagna like that but I'd love to try it. Last summer I made a white lasagna with zucchini and made my own lasagna noodles. Definitely took extra time, but it was fun and different from any other I've had before.