Isaac’s Epic Lasagne

I always envied the fun moms (like mine) who loved to play, threw epic birthday parties and made ordinary days exciting, and I secretly worried that my kids were missing out due to my boringness.  I much preferred to clean the kitchen or bake a pan of cinnamon rolls to being tortured with Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders.  My children figured out at a young age that if they wanted to be with Mom, they had to come to the kitchen.  As my first baby climbed on a chair and “helped” me do dishes, I decided to always encourage their presence, even if it meant a messy mop job after they “did the dishes.”  This conscious decision has led to years of companionship and five children who know how to clean and cook- a very worthwhile investment!  Thankfully, they had a playful father and grandparents to cover what I lacked in the fun department.

Beginning at a young age, Isaac showed culinary potential and was my constant cooking companion.  About the age of ten, he decided he needed a signature dish and began working with my grandmother’s lasagna recipe.  With the help of Miriam Woody and her “secret ingredient” and many messy lasagna making sessions over the next seven years (on three different continents!), he has come up with his own classic recipe.  He prefers the oven ready noodles (one less huge pan to wash- yahoo!) and makes his sauce from scratch, as all the store bought spaghetti sauces disappointed (and it’s so easy to make your own!)  He always doubles the recipe, saving one for the freezer or making a couple smaller pans to share with neighbors.

IMG_5065
Worth the little bit of effort:)

 

Ingredients

12 ounces of oven ready lasagna noodles

Filling

30 ounces of ricotta or cottage cheese

1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 eggs

*optional 10 ounces chopped, frozen spinach

Sauce

1 pound sausage, browned

2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes

1 6 ounce can tomato paste

½ chopped onion

3-4 minced garlic cloves

1 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp salt

½ tsp chili powder

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

Directions

 

Brown sausage, add all other sauce ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes

Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl, saving one cup of mozzarella cheese

Place ¼ of sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan

Place 1/3 of the noodles on top of sauce

Spread with 1/3 of cheese filling

Repeat sauce, noodles and cheese filling two more times, ending with the last ¼ of sauce on top.

Sprinkle the set apart 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top

Wrap tightly with foil (spraying the inside of the foil to keep cheese from sticking)

Bake at 425 for 1 hour, or until noodles are tender

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

If using regular boiled noodles, bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes

If you assembled earlier and refrigerated, allow 15 minutes extra baking time

This freezes well- be sure to allow plenty of time to warm it back up

 


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