Cheesy Lasagna with Pepperoni Recipe
Ingredients for my Meaty and Cheesy Lasagna
I have had many requests for my lasagna recipe over the years. Instead of sharing the recipe, I prepared and shared many scrumptious slices with family and friends. Since this is the 20th anniversary of my special recipe, I decided it was time to share.
This lasagna started out as a Christmas Eve meal hence the red and green pepper for color and flavor. It has now become a birthday tradition when requested, also a Father's Day dinner since this is my husbands favorite meal.
This recipe is intended to feed up to 16 people, depending on the portion size. I have acquired a few secrets over the years. I prepare this masterpiece the day before I bake it. This enhances the flavor and allows the slices to be firmer once cut.
My prep time is 2 hours. This is because I clean as I go. I can't cook in a messy kitchen. My work area needs to be organized. To get in the spirit of preparing and baking you could listen to Andrea Bocelli while sipping some wine.
I boil the noodles for 3 minutes fewer than instructed on the box. This is because I like the noodles a bit al dente. I also layer the noodles with one row being horizontal and the next vertical. This helps with near perfect slices. I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic because this meal is usually eaten with a crowd and it's best to hold a conversation without garlic breath. I normally create 5 or 6 layers and usually have a few extra noodles that I don't use.
Cover lasagna with saran wrap (not foil) before placing in the fridge. The acids from the tomato sauce tend to eat through foil. Before placing your creation in the oven, remove the saran wrap. Loosely cover with foil. Halfway through baking remove foil and place additional mozzarella cheese. Bake time is 2 hours at 325*. Check your creation every 30 minutes since the top layer could burn quickly. Some people like crispy noodles and cheese, some people don't. I place two cookie sheets on the lower shelf of the oven to catch drippings. It's easier to clean a cookie sheet than the oven.
I'm now prepared to reveal my secret ingredient. The amount you add is optional. You could add a dash, a spoonful, a cup or a quart of LOVE. May you always enjoy and appreciate lasagna.
Green and red peppers add color and flavor
Ingredients for Sunshine's Lasagna Recipe
- 2 - 16 oz Boxes Lasagna noodles (sheets), boiled and drained
- 5 - Jars (120 ounces) Pasta Sauce (of your choice)
- 1 red, 1 green, 1 onion Peppers & Onion, chopped and sauteed
- 32 ounces Italian Pork Sausage, cooked, browned and drain excess fat
- 50 slices (more or less) Pepperoni Slices
- 32 ounces Ricotta Cheese & raw egg, beat egg before mixing with ricotta
- 2 - 16 oz bags Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 2 - 16 oz blocks Mozzarella Cheese, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 tsp (or to taste) Garlic Powder, Oregano, Onion Powder
Instructions for my Meaty and Cheesy Lasagna
- Cook and brown sausage. Drain excess fat.
- Chop and saute peppers and onion.
- Boil lasagna noodles. I prefer the noodles al dente, so I boil for 3 minutes less than the box requires. Run noodles under cold water and allow to cool.
- Blend peppers, onion and sausage together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Pour jars of sauce into a large mixing bowl. Add peppers, onion and sausage. Stir in seasonings.
- Slice up mozzarella blocks.
- Beat one egg and add ricotta cheese. Mix well with a fork.
- Coat bottom of 18x12x8 pan with pasta sauce.
- Place a layer of noodles and begin to layer ingredients.
- For the first layer place the noodles horizontally. The next layer would be vertically. Or vice versa.
- Cover with saran wrap. Place in fridge overnight.
Sunshine's Lasagna ... Time to eat!
Thank you to my personal photographer Michelle Stoker!
100 Yummy Foods!
- 100 Yummy Foods
I've compiled a list of 100 Yummy Foods. May your taste buds and imagination enjoy the list and photos!
© 2012 Linda Bilyeu