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Classic Lasagna Recipe

Photo by Kathy Whyte

The final January comfort food for Foodie Friday was actually requested as the main dish for Thanksgiving this past year instead of turkey. I am including instructions for making your own sauce, but you can use two jars of your favorite store-bought instead.That shaves about a half hour off the prep. time which comes out to about an hour and a half with sauce prep. Lasagna al la Kathy Whyte:Sauce:2 Tbl. oilve oil1/2 medium onion, diced1/2 green pepper, finely diced4 cloves garlic, finely diced1 tsp. basil1 Tbl. oregano1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes2 28-ounce cans crushed tomato (no seasoning)1 Tbl. sugar(for the rest of the lasagna:)9 sheets lasagna noodles1 lb. ground beef1 lb. ricotta cheese1 lb. mozzerella cheese, shredded1/2 C. parmesan cheese, shredded If you are making your own sauce, saute the onions and diced peppers in the olive oil until tender, then add the garlic, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Do not let the garlic get brown. Add in the crushed tomato and keep heat on a medium to low setting, allowing to cook down for about a half hour. Add in the sugar to cut the acid of the tomato. Taste! Add salt or pepper or more herbs to your liking. Start pasta water boiling. Liberally salt the water before adding the pasta. Chefs I well respect say the water should be like the sea, but I don’t put that much salt in (Sorry Michael and Mario).The sauce can simmer until the pasta is almost al dente’. As with last week’s macaroni and cheese, remember, the pasta will absorbe sauce and continue to cook in the baking process.In a separate pan, brown the beef and drain as needed. Stir the sauce into the meat. Drain the noodles. Lightly spray a baking pan and spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom before laying down three lasagna strips then layer: sauce, spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, mozzerella, parmesean, noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzerella, parm (you get the picture) Top layer: sauce and cheeses. Bake at 375 for about a half hour. I usually cover with alumimum foil for about the first 15 minutes or so to keep the cheese from getting too brown.* For a vegetarian version: Obviously, leave out the meat. Make the sauce, then when you are layering the lasaga, put noodles, sauce, thinly sliced Portabello mushrooms, capers and sliced black olives (capers and olives optional, but I think the mushrooms add the meaty element), then the cheeses. Bellisimo!  Next month’s recipes will surprise you. Keep checking in!

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