- Food and Cooking
Homemade Lasagna by Gene Munson Barry
Rate My Homemade Lasagna Recipe
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: Serves six people a two by two inch square.
Homemade Lasagna by Gene Munson Barry
- 12 Lasagna, Noodles
- 1 Quart, Homemade tomato sauce
- 1 Ricotta cheese, Large Container
- 1/8 cup Basil, Dried chopped
- 1 head Lettuce, Sliced
- 1 Medium Tomato, Sliced
- 1/8 cup Pine Nuts, roasted
- 1 stick Butter, softened
- Pinch Salt, kosher
- Pinch Pepper, Fresh Ground
- 24 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced or Ground
- Fill a medium pot with water then place it on your stove at the high setting to boil the water.
- Count out the Lasagna noodles. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
- Place the noodles in the boiling water, being careful to not splash the water and burn yourself. Cover the pot and allow to boil until the pasta is cooked.
- Carefully pour out the hot water a lasagna noodles into a colander. Immediately rinse with cold water. I, then, place the cooled noodles on a flat (cookie) sheet to further cool.
Cool the cooked noodles.
Next begin cooking your ground beef. I have several cast Iron pans that came from my wife's mother and my grandmother. I use a spatula to break the meat into small crumbles.
Ground Beef Cooking
Prepare Your Colander
As the ground beef is cooking I prepare my colander placing it in my sink to drain the excess fat from the cooked beef.
Colander for draining excess fat.
Draining Ground bBeef
Carefully remove the cooked beef from the heat, and pour into the colander. Make sure that you do not burn yourself as you pour the meat into the colander. I have several sizes, but to drain the ground beef I prefer to use this smaller size pictured above. I usually use a flat serving spatula to scrape the meat into the colander. As the meat drains I grease the baking dish lightly. I use a paper towel, dab it in butter and then coat the bottom and sides of my baking dish.
I Add the First Layer of Tomato Sauce
I don't usually like store bought tomato sauce, so I use three kinds of tomatoes and make my own sauce. Also I make homemade sauce so I can control the herbs that are added to the sauce. I grow my own herbs like basil, and oregano. We do not like onions or garlic so I do not use this when making tomato sauce
After you have put a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, begin to layer in this order: noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, ground beef then tomato sauce. When laying down the noodles you can overlap them a little bit. Ricotta can be hard to handle. I drop spoonsful here and there and then very gently spread it out. The ground beef I "sprinkle" on with my hand.
I continue to layer until I have the whole pan filled.
As I layer the ingredients, I use my dried herbs and sprinkle over the layers. I also add salt and pepper to taste.
Lasgna ready to bake
I carefully transfer the final dish to the oven. Using a pot holder I pull out one of the shelves to make it easier to place the dish. I have the oven preheated to 350 degrees, (which I maintain the baking process). Carefully slide the shelf back into the oven. I do this slowly so that the dish of lasagna does not slide and spill. Bake for approximently 1 hour and 15 minutes. Judge and bake accordingly.
While the Lasagna is Baking.
As the lasagna is baking I usually prepare a salad to have with our meal of lasagna. I prefer to purchase a whole head of lettuce, It seems to last longer than the bagged salad mixes. I fill salad bowls half way with lettuce. Next I cut up mushrooms, (see photo). With the salad in the photo I had some left over fresh beans from my garden so I added them. I add sliced up tomatoes and we like black olives so I slice them and add.
Next I carefully brown some pine nuts in a small cast Iron pan with butter. You need to keep a close eye on the pine nuts as you roast them because they can burn super easily. After they cool use a spoon and scoop them onto the salad. You can use the dressing of your choice, we usually have several kinds on hand such as Blue cheese, French, Raspberry Walnut, Zesty Itallian, etc.
Brown the Pine Nuts
Cut the Finished Lasagna
Use pot holders to remove the cooked lasagna from the oven (being careful to not get burned). Allow the finished lasagna to rest for about 5 minutes on the top of the oven. This makes it easier to cut and serve. I have this serving spatula that is approximately 2 inches wide that I use to cut the lasagna in both directions. This makes it easier to scoop out and serve once everything is ready.