You know what's good? Feeling like everything is going to work out. Feeling like this is right, this is good. When it fits. When you feel like everything, in it's own timing, and with patience, it will turn out for your good. And not so much because you're entitled to it, but because you know that deep inside, when you sow the seeds, believe in it and work for it, you're bound to reap fruit. :)
You know what else is good? A good recipe. Whether it's a trusty no-fail formula, or a brand new endeavor, it's always rewarding when a recipe turns out to be a success. I mean, they might need a few tweaks or adjustments sometimes, but what's the harm in making good, better?
So this delicious looking seafood pasta up here is Andrew's specialty pasta. He learned it from his friend who's an awesome cook, but he's made it his trademark recipe ever since. It's an olive oil and white wine based sauce with various seafood. And it's really really good. We cooked it for my parents and they loved it so much! My mom made Andrew promise that he'd make it for her birthday!
What is this dangerously delicious looking lasagna up here, you ask? Well boldly so, its' name is "Number 1 Lasagna". I found it online, searching for a good classic meat lasagna and this recipe popped up. It was from a blog solely dedicated to lasagnas. The author of the blog has a looong roster of various lasagna recipe they've tried. Ranging from vegetarian to cream sauces, classic Italian recipes to fusion ones. Anyways, this one seemed to be deemed as the best recipe so I gave it a go!
The recipe asks for a long simmering time for the sauce, which helps all the herbs and meats come together beautifully. I decided to put my mom's slow-cooker to good use and let it cook for an even longer time. Oooohh-so-fragrant and wholesome, I loooooved the sauce. Slow-cooking is key to making any good sauce, I guess, but I was surprised at how it really brought the flavours together. As for the rest of the recipe, well it turned out to be a perfect comfort-food. Extremely cheesy and gooey and saucy, I can't imagine anyone not loving it. If you're wondering why my lasagna looks super runny and can't hold its shape.. it's my fault. I added more sauce/ricotta than the recipe asked for because I just had extra left and decided to pile it on. Also, I didn't let it set, like it asked for, because I didn't have enough time. Bad move.
One down side to the recipe. The pasta noodles. When the recipe said, "No boiling for the pasta noodles" I went, YAY! But in reality, the lasagna noodles tasted a bit under-cooked and hard/mushy. It was kinna weird. Next time I'll just cook em. OH ALSO. When I cooked it the second time, I made sure I added about two more noodle pieces. The recipe calls for only 12 pieces, but for the huge lasagna it is, it's not really enough. I would recommend maybe 14 pieces, even if it overlaps just a bit. :)
No 1 Lasagna Recipe
recipe from "mylasagnarecipe.com
Serves 12 people
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1/2 Cup of Water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons fresh Basil leaves chopped
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped (2 for sauce, 2 for ricotta mixture)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
23 ounces of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 Lasagna Noodles (I recommend 14)
1. In a pot heavy pot, on medium-low heat, brown the ground beef, Italian sausage, onions and garlic. It takes about 6 to 9 minutes to brown the meat. You can use a Dutch oven to cook this portion of the recipe. It is optional to remove the grease from the meat once it is finished browning, your choice.
2. Then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato pasta, 1/2 cup of water and gently stir into the the cooking meat.
3. Add the following: white sugar, fennel seed, fresh Basil, 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, teaspoon of salt, Italian Seasoning and ground pepper. Gently stir these seasoning into the sauce.Cover the pot and let the meat sauce simmer. Simmer on low heat for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.
4. Soak 12 lasagna noodles. The lasagna noodles need to be soaked in hot tap water for 15 minutes. (Or I recommend you boil 14 pieces of lasagna noodles.)
5. While the noodles are soaking you can make the cheese filling. Put the following ricotta cheese and fresh grated nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Then add 1 egg, and 2 tbsp of Italian parsley. Mix these ingredients together with a spoon.
7. Now we start building the lasagna layers.
Use a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Spread 2 Cups of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Remove your lasagna noodles out of the water bath. Shake water off wet noodles.
Lay 6 noodles across the layer of sauce.
Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of noodles.
Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer.
Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer
Spread 2 cups of meat sauce over the cheese layer
Lay down the next layer of noodles
Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over noodles
Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses saving some cheese for the top of the lasagna
Put the last layer of meat sauce on the cheeses
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
8. Cover with foil
Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 25 minutes
Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes.