Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Italian The Mountain Man's Meaty Lasagna

Some may call pasta a girly food, or not worthy of a hearty man's appetite. That may have been true until the mountain man created his 9 pound pan of lasagna. (Yep, I weighed it. It's also true I could probably use a hobby!)

From In The Kitchen


1 pound chop meat
1 small onion diced
Any leftover meat bones you may have (we - and by that I mean the Mountain Man, of course- used a chuck steak bone from the night before)
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp chopped garlic (or powdered)
2 26 oz jars Ragu Tomato sauce
1 cup of water
12 oz Contadina Tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese grated
1 lb Ronzoni Lasagna noodles
3 lb Sorrento's Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 lb. Sorrento's Mozzarella Cheese sliced
1/2 cup Wesson Canola Oil
From Easter and cooking

You probably don't need this visual, but I already took the picture, and quite frankly it probably won't make a great Christmas card. Hmmmm. Well, maybe it would make a good card!
"Holiday Greetings from the Mountain Man! Happy Low Cholesterol Levels from my Hearth to Your Home!"
Again, I digress! Back to cooking!

Brown chop meat well over medium flame.
Drain chop meat and strain while rinsing with cold water. This washes away more than half of the grease, and is probably the only healthy portion of this post!
Place in large sauce pot.
Add diced onion.
Add any leftover meat bones to pot to enhance flavor.
Add oregano, garlic, and basil.
Add 2 jars of sauce.
Add 1 cup of water.
Add tomato paste.

Simmer over low flame.
Dust top with grated cheese.
Let simmer anywhere fr0m 20 minutes to 3 hours. After twenty minutes, sauce will be ready. However, the longer you let the sauce cook, the more flavorful it will be. (This explains why mysuestories' sauce from a jar straight to the microwave for one minute and then to the table generally is not a huge hit -to put it mildly!)

Prepare lasagna noodles per instructions.
Add canola oil to water to prevent sticking of noodles. Note: This will NOT keep sauce from adhering later-that is a myth!
Strain and rinse noodles with cold water--again, avoiding sticky, yucky noodles.

Remove meat bones from sauce pot.
Ladle meat sauce liberally onto shallow pan bottom.
Layer lasagna noodles lengthwise.
Spread ricotta and then mozzarella cheese.
Repeat three times, meat sauce, noodles, then ricotta, then mozzarella.

From Easter and cooking

From Easter and cooking

I am pretty sure that the pasta police will not invade your home and arrest you if you should place the mozzarella into place before the ricotta cheese, but why take that chance?

Cover with tented foil (Do not place foil flat on top of tray. This will cause the cheese to stick to the foil when removing, and you will be all..."Waa, the mountain man didn't tell me this would happen". ) So, please, tent your foil, since you can no longer blame the mountain man for cheesy foil and uncheesy lasagna!

Bake 60 minutes (or till sauce is visibly bubbling) at 325 degrees.
Remove foil (sans cheese) and let cook another 10 minutes to crust top.
Remove tray from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

Note: This recipe left about 3 cups of sauce leftovers to freeze or use for a second mid week meal. After all, just how many times a week do these darned kids expect a fresh cooked meal, anyway? And this sauce? Delicious over Hot Pockets!

Serves 10 people. Or 6 people and three very hungry dogs (not including Hot Pockets!).

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