Monday, September 20, 2010

Family recipe...Lasagna for a crowd

Although I can't claim this recipe as my own, I can claim to be in the lineage of some amazing cooks!  Like I've said before, my grandma, my great-aunt and my mom have all played a huge roll in my love for food and cooking.  As young as I can remember my mom was making this lasagna recipe.  It's always been a HUGE hit in our family and extended family...oh, and with our cats too!
A funny story behind this lasagna:  one day my mom had made lasagna for dinner and took it out of the oven to let it cool.  My dad had just arrived home after a long days work and was really looking forward to his big piece of lasagna.  Well, there must have been a point when no one was looking, so our cat decided he would literally jump into the lasagna...with ALL FOUR PAWS!  Once we came in the room, we heard the commotion and (us kids) knew it wasn't good!  All I have to say was there were not-so-pretty words and Mr. purrbody (his name should have been Garfield) flying through the air.  It wasn't a very pleasant evening in our home and honestly I can't even remember what we had for dinner that night.

Lasagne {Mangano Family recipe}

{I save about 2 cups of the sauce to heat up & pour over pieces of lasagna...yes, I love this sauce!}
  • 2 lbs. ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt 
  • 1 can {12 oz} tomato paste
  • 1 large can {32 oz} whole tomatoes
  • 1 large can {32 oz} crushed tomatoes {I use about 3/4 of the can}
  • 1 container {16 oz} Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp.salt 
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 16 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • shredded parmesan cheese {optional}
  • 3/4 box lasagna noodles

1.  Fill a large stock pot with water and cook noodles according to package.  **I like to drain, then lay them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool while I'm prepping the other ingredients.
2.  Heat a large saucepan to medium-high heat.  Add ground sirloin and cook, breaking up meat with spoon.  Season with salt while the meat is browning.  Once meat has browned, add minced garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes, to release the garlic flavor.  Add tomato paste, whole tomatoes and 3/4 of the crushed tomatoes.  Stir and break up the large tomatoes; bring to boil.  Once bubbling, reduce to low simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Season with more salt to taste.  
3. While sauce is simmering, make filling.  In a medium bowl, combine eggs, ricotta, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, salt & pepper.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.
4.  Spray a 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray.  Layer 1/2 lasagna noodles, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 sauce, 1/2 shredded mozzarella & some shredded parmesan {optional}.  Repeat layers, finishing with mozzarella.  Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

This sauce is perfection all by itself...
Ricotta Mixture

first layer of noodles...I use 4

All ready for the oven

My favorite part....the corner piece!

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