June 8, 2010

If I could choose one Lasagna recipe...



What a treat.

Our lovely friend Pam and her mother Ingrid came from Germany to visit last week.  Pam's hubby Frank will be the new Big Shot in Hungary soon, and before they move, she decided to get a bit of travelling in. 

Kev and I were treated to a mouthwatering dinner of homemade lasagna, fresh green salad and red wine when they visited... Pam made it and brought it to share and I swear, this is the recipe that tops all recipes... we had seconds and licked the plate clean.  It's a classic Barefoot Contessa concoction. 

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
• 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
• 15 ounces ricotta cheese
• 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
• 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
• 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
• 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

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