Lasagna in Depth

My wife really wanted lasagna, and since I can’t deny her anything she wants, I agreed to make one. I also decided this would be a great time to do my photo series recipe thingy. You know, like I do. So fair warning, this recipe isn’t even vaguely paleo/primal. It’s not even low carb. Well, I guess the proportion of calories in this beast that come from carbs is probably very low. That’s a lot of meat and cheese. So that’s something. It’s also gluten free, so that’s also good. It’s one of those things that we really enjoy and makes for fantastic leftovers. So I’ll make it once or twice a month, and we get probably 3-4 meals out of it each. In the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty harmless. I use pastured dairy (as much as possible) and humanely-raised/grassfed meats. So that’s good too, I guess.

Okay, here’s how you start.Tinkyada makes rice pasta that’s actually not mushy or gross. It behaves very nearly exactly the same as wheat pasta, and that’s not easy to find.

This is just about everything you need. I think I forgot to include the mozzarella in here, but it’s close, at least.

Now to get cooking.

Put some water and salt into a pot and bring it to a boil. Dump the noodles in. Chances are good you won’t have a pot tall enough for the water to completely cover the noodles, but they’ll soften after a minute or so and you can take some tongs and kinda wrestle them down so the water covers them. Boil them for about 14 minutes.

One egg goes into a bowl.

Followed by the ricotta cheese. This is 15 oz, and it worked out to be a good amount.

Grate some of your mozzarella (about a pound) and put half aside for later. Actually, with the 15 oz of ricotta, you can probably do just a quarter of it in the cheese mixture and leave the rest for the top. I didn’t, and the top of mine was a little light. Also, grating fresh mozzarella sucks. I tried chilling it and it still didn’t work very well. I’m going to have to continue experimenting with it, because I really love the taste and texture of the fresh cheese, so I’m not giving up on it, but I need a better way to grate it. Next time, I may try the food processor? Anyway, put the grated cheese in the bowl and stir it all up.

Now, put the ground beef into a sauce pan (I go with nonstick, just to make cleanup easier) and hit it with some seasonings.

These will do. Cook the beef until it’s brown.

Cut the pepperoni into quarters, if it’s the deli-style kind. If it’s the smaller kind, you don’t need to.

When your noodles are done boiling, you probably want to lay them flat to cool. It won’t take long to get them cool enough to handle with bare fingers.

When the beef is done browning, pour in half a jar of sauce, then lower the heat to “warm” and put on a lid. You may notice that there’s a lot of stuff happening simultaneously in here, and there is. Once you try one of these once or twice, you’ll get a feel for how much time each step takes and what you can get done while you’re waiting.

Put some sauce in the bottom of the Pyrex, and spread it out a bit.

Now take your noodles and cut them into a 2/3 and 1/3 split. Or rather, re-size your noodles for your container. For my noodles and my baking dish, it’s this way. I’ve tried just folding them over, and that’s lame. Cut them to size so they fit properly and you’ll get a lot more layers, which is awesome.

Do the layer thing. Also, this is a good time to preheat the oven to 375º.

Put half the cheese mixture into the dish and spread it out over the noodles. Then take half the pepperoni and place them evenly over the cheese.

More noodles, then half the beef/sauce mixture, and spread it out over the noodles.

More noodles, more cheese and more pepperoni. Whee!

More noodles, more beef/sauce.

Last layer of noodles.

I poured the remains of the full jar (minus what I put in the bottom of the dish at the beginning) over the top, but I think it was a little too much. I never measure these things, so sometimes they end up a little light or heavy in one aspect of another, depending on how much attention I’m paying.

Now put the rest of the mozzarella on top. Like I said, I was a bit light with it, so I supplemented with some parmesan cheese. Now cover with foil and put into the oven for 30 minutes. Then take the foil off and bake for another 15 minutes.

Ta-da! Let it rest for like 15-20 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.

This is one of those foods that just gets better with time, so the leftovers tomorrow will probably be even tastier than the fresh. It’s dense, though, so the microwave will have to work pretty hard to get it warm. You’ll get it, though. Hope this works out for you! I’m happy to answer questions if you have any. Also, I’d love to hear if you give this a try and how it works out for you. Thanks for reading!

This entry was posted in Recipes.

One comment on “Lasagna in Depth

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Looks yummy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s