My husband has been begging for lasagna since the weather turned cold. A few weeks ago, I had the fore sight to make and freeze homemade meat sauce so it really wasn’t too difficult to say yes!
A few years ago I was watching Ina Garten and she doesn’t boil her noodles, she softens them in very hot water. I tried it and it totally works!
For my meat sauce, I use 1 1/2 lbs. of meatloaf mix (50% ground beef, 25% ground pork and 25% ground veal) and 1/2 lb of mild italian sausage. I start browning the meat, I add onions, garlic and a bit of tomato paste. I let that cool while I make the sauce.
For the sauce I saute onions, add tomato paste, let that cook for a minute or two, add the garlic, cook another minute then add cans of whole tomatoes, hand crushed. I bring to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and add two bay leaves. I let this cook for several hours, remove the bay leaves, add fresh basil leaves and puree.
Once the sauce is done, I add the meat and freeze it in bags. I usually put 8 cups in each bag, which I think is perfect for lasagna because my husband likes a lot of sauce.
I start by putting down a layer of sauce, topping it with noodles, then ricotta. top that with mozzarella cheese and more sauce. Layer as high as you pan will allow.
I make my lasagna the night before. I pulled it from the fridge at 4pm and let it come to room temperature. At 5pm, I put it on a cookie sheet, put it in a cold oven and turned the oven to 375. I cover it with foil for the first hour to make sure the center gets hot, then I take off the foil and add a layer of mozzarella cheese. Dinner is done!
So what warm and yummy dinner did you have last night?