I love lasagna!
I realized that it has been far too long since cooking it. When I was a noodle eater I would make it at least once a month but have realized that cutting out carbs and enriched flour in general left me hankering for it. This is a recipe I meshed together with everything I know about making lasagna from scratch. However, I did cheat and use a shortcut of by using pre-made tomato sauce. I usually make it from scratch and let it simmer for 1/2 of the day filling the kitchen with such a wonderful aroma of basil, oregano and tomato-y garlic yumminess! Guaranteed to cause you to think that you will actually starve before the meal is ready. Since I decided to prepare and cook this dish (2 really) after the grocery trip, there was no time for half a day of simmering tomato sauce.
This recipe makes 2 medium sized foil pans of lasagna. It’s great for a large party or for freezing. I am a big fan of cooking two or more of anything at the same time and storing the extra away in the freezer for the time when I am wanting a quick and easy meal. Another day I will post exact directions about how I do that. Until then, I hope this makes you hungry enough that you want to cook this meal.
- 1/2 lb mild organic pork sausage,
- 1/2 lb organic ground beef,
- 1 yellow onion diced,
- 2 tsp crushed garlic,
- 2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce
- 2 -3 large American eggplants peeled then sliced 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 dozen eggs 3-4 for dredging eggplant, 2-3 for ricotta filling
- 2 cups corn meal
- oil for browning the eggplant
- 2 cups of Ricotta cheese
- 2-3 cups Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 bunch fresh Basil finely chopped by hand or in the food processor
- Curly Cabbage- 3/4 head shredded
- 2 aluminum foil pans and foil for covering
- Cook at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes
Pour yourself a glass of wine and get started!
Start the Sauce first. Ingredients: 1/2 lb mild organic pork sausage, 1/2 lb organic ground beef, 1 yellow onion diced, 2 tsp crushed garlic, 2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce. Brown pork and beef in a large pan. (large enough to hold the jars of sauce.) add onions and garlic, stir and brown until fully cooked. Add 2 jars of tomato sauce, lower heat to a simmer.
While sauce is simmering. Peel and slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. In a separate bowl scramble 3 eggs for dredging the eggplant in. Then coat the eggplant in organic freshly milled cornmeal. (any corn meal will work)With 1/2 inch oil in your skillet, Cook at a medium temperature until cornmeal coating is brown and eggplant is tender.
Once the eggplant is cooked, place on a paper towel to drain. It will take several batches to cook all of the eggplant. While you are working on this, you can cook your tomato sauce and blend the ricotta mixture.
While sauce is simmering and eggplant is crisping in oiled pan over medium heat. Make the Ricotta filling. 2 cups of Ricotta cheese, 2 eggs ( I also used the remainder of the eggs solution that I used to dip the eggplant into)
Chop 1/2 bunch fresh basil finely chopped by hand or in the food processor
Add about 1/2 cup of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese to the Ricotta then stir until well blended and smooth.
After blending the Ricotta filling. Shred 3/4 curly cabbage head finely with a knife. If cabbage isn’t your favorite or replace it entirely with shredded zuchinni
In a skillet, add shredded cabbage and 1 or 2 ladles of tomato sauce. Cook until tender, remove from heat and set a side.
Assembling Step 1: On the bottom of a baking dish add a generous layer of tomato sauce
Assembling Step 2: After the first layer of tomato sauce, add a layer of thinly sliced tomatos
Assembling Step 3: Layer the eggplant on top of the tomato layer. ( I forgot this step the first round but so that is why you don’t see any tomatoes in this photo) :-/
Assembling Step 4: Spread the ricotta filling on the eggplant layer.
Assembling Step 4: Smooth it gently over the top as if you are buttering toast with butter that is room temperature .
Assembling Step 5: Place a layer of the cooked cabbage over the layer of Ricotta. Spread evenly. If cabbage isn’t cut finely enough it will be too chunky for bite size pieces.
Assembling Step 6: Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over the cabbage layer. Use cheese sparingly or load it up if you like it super cheesy.
Assembling Step 7: Repeat. Top the mozzarella with another layer of crispy eggplant, then sauce and repeat the process until the lasagna is as thick as you like or as thick as the pan will allow.
In a 375 preheated oven: Once the lasagna is assembled, cover with foil and place in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the cheese on top is completely melted. When finished cooking, remove and let stand 10 – 15 minutes, then cut and serve.