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Old 09-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #11
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Isn't it fascinating how foods can affect different people in so many ways?

After eating Meat Lasagna without either Ricotta or Cottage Cheese my entire life, and loving it, I had some made with Ricotta and Cottage Cheese for the first time and thought it so incredibly good and creamy that it was one of my favorite tastes for quite some time.

Just shows how people can be so different. How boring it would be if we all liked or disliked exactly the same things!
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:51 PM   #12
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My Dad doesn't like ricotta or cottage cheese, so I grew up eating and making it without. When I got married, DH and I were preparing to make lasagna, when he asked me where is the ricotta? I didn't even know what it was. Boy, was I missing out on a great cheese!
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #13
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I'm not a big fan of ricotta on its own, but anything that adds another layer or two to lasagna is a good thing. It just wouldn't be the same without it.
But I'd still eat it
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis
I'm not a big fan of ricotta on its own, but anything that adds another layer or two to lasagna is a good thing. It just wouldn't be the same without it.
But I'd still eat it
No...I wouldn't kick lasagna off my plate even if it doesn't have ricotta!!
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:22 PM   #15
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I've printed this, Lazz, and added it to my loose leaf binder. Old school. I like my lasagna dense, requiring a knife to eat. I'll definitely try it Franca style. Thanks for the recipe!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:55 PM   #16
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Question

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Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
I've always put a mixture of 2 parts ricotta (cottage cheese would be disgusting, like putting refried beans in huevos rancheros!), 2 parts mozzerella, and 1 part grated parmigiana on top of the meat sauce in my lasagnas and no bechemel, but skipping the cheeses would be a real money saver.

I am assuming by concentrated tomato you are referring to what Yanks call tomato paste, which is available in a tube for doling out in teaspoons or tablespoons, and 6- or 12-ounce cans when you need a bunch.

BTW, if you use the cheese mixture, you can roll up the leftover cheese mixture, the leftover meat mixture, or a combination of both, in the leftover lasagna noodles to make cannelloni, which is much easier than trying to stuff it into manicotti and calling it cannelloni!
Sir Loin,

I have been looking all over for tomato paste in the tube, where did you find it??
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Pierogi Princess

Sir Loin,

I have been looking all over for tomato paste in the tube, where did you find it??
We have it here, Amore is the brand. They have garlic paste too. In most grocery stores, it's not refrigerated. You can find it on Amazon as well.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pierogi Princess View Post
Sir Loin,

I have been looking all over for tomato paste in the tube, where did you find it??
Try looking on the very top shelf in the vegetable/tomato sauce aisle. It comes in a box, like toothpaste.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:56 PM   #19
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Thanks, I will look again, I shop at Kroger and Meijer, I may not be looking in the correct spot. If all else fails, I will take Sir Loin's suggestion and go to Amazon.

Thanks both of you.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Pierogi Princess View Post
Thanks, I will look again, I shop at Kroger and Meijer, I may not be looking in the correct spot. If all else fails, I will take Sir Loin's suggestion and go to Amazon.

Thanks both of you.

At least where I shop, paste in a tube is much more expensive than canned paste. The cost of convenience.

I seldom use an entire can of paste so I spoon the remainder in tablespoonfuls onto a plate and freeze them. Then I pop them into a freezer bag for future use.
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Luca’s meat lasagna easy recipe – Franca’s style I’m proposing you here, my precious guests, the lasagna recipe as “tuned” by my late mother-in-law Franca. Her family moved from Genoa to the Emilia region during the Second World War, to flee the Allied bombing. And, as you may know, Emilia is the homeland of lasagna (and tortellini, tagliatelle, parmigiano, lambrusco, balsamic vinegar, mortadella, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and so on and so forth…). This recipe uses an overly simple [I]ragů[/I], which is the meat and tomato sauce as we call it in Italy (the Bolognese sauce, for the rest of the known world). It is not the classic recipe, the canonical “Lasagne alla Bolognese”, but since it was good for my mother-in-law, it MUST be good enough for you and me… [COLOR="Green"]Serves 4 (but you have to try them to be sure, since eating is what makes your appetite grow…) 500 g lasagna (15 sheets/noodles) | 400 g minced beef (with some fat, not too lean) | 400 g tomato sauce | 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato | 1 tablespoon olive oil | salt | 500 g bechamel | 150 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese [/COLOR] [B]Let’s go with our lasagna![/B] In a nutshell, you have to prepare the sauce, prepare the pasta, assemble everything and bake the final mix. It’s better to prepare the sauce first, maybe a day before the lasagna if you can, then proceed with the lasagna, the mixing and the baking. [B](1) --[/B] Let’s start from the meat sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, then add the meat. Work the meat with a wooden spoon/spatula; you have to separate the bits of minced meat so that they cook appropriately. Do not mince the meat with a kitchen aid; it must be somewhat coarse, not too fine. Add some salt, and then cook the meat until brown. This stage may take around 10/15 minutes.[B] -- (2) -- [/B]Add the tomato sauce and the concentrated tomato to the pan, mix well, then cook the sauce on low fire for at least 60 minutes, checking it every now and them to make sure it does not boil or become too dry. Add salt to your taste, but do not overdo. Before proceeding to the next step, the [I]ragů[/I] (meat sauce) must cool down.[B] -- (3) -- [/B]Put the [I]ragů[/I] in a large bowl, add the bechamel and mix well. Now the meat sauce filling for the lasagna is ready. [CENTER][IMG]http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/members/40791-albums377-picture3007.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] [B](4) -- [/B]Let’s prepare the lasagna. I use flat sheets of pasta (in Italy I never found the “curly” noodles), which look easier to combine with the rest of the food, IMHO, than the curly version. Even if I use “no boiling” lasagna sheets, I still boil them, following Franca’s example. There are three reasons: I find that they cook better with the rest of the ingredients, I can easily cut them to fit the size of my casserole, avoiding them to overlap each other and I don’t need to add an excessive amount of bechamel to make the moist.[B] -- (5) -- [/B]Put a pot of water to the boil, then put a lasagna sheet in the boiling water, wait less than a minute, then take it away ant put it on a canvas. Repeat the process with all the pasta. [B](6) -- [/B]Now comes the final assembly. Take a casserole; with the quantities shown above for this recipe, I used a 26x20x5.5 cm casserole (the one shown in the pictures). I never make lasagna “piles” taller than 6 cm, I’m not sure of the final result.[B] -- (7) -- [/B]Spread a little layer of sauce on the bottom of the casserole, then put a layer of lasagne. The lasagna sheets are cooked, so you can easily cut them (or break them by hands) to fit your casserole, without overlapping. After the lasagne, put the sauce, and then put the grated Parmigiano cheese. Repeat the procedure till the last layer of Parmigiano. TIP: Stay focused, because even the most seasoned cooks can forget a layer of Parmigiano! [CENTER][IMG]http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/members/40791-albums377-picture3005.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] [B](8) -- [/B]When your lasagna casserole is ready, cover it with a sheet of tin foil and put it in the oven at 180/200 °C for about 50 minutes. Check it once in a while to see how it goes. Generally the lasagna will try to cheat you and stay almost unchanged for half an hour. Then it will undergo some sort of inner alchemic reaction and it will gradually get brown and crisp. After about 50 minutes, remove the tin foil and allow the top to become crisp, to give it a nice finish. [CENTER][IMG]http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/members/40791-albums377-picture3006.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] Wow, it’s a long journey, but it’s over now! :lol: You can bring the casserole to the table or prepare the dishes in the kitchen. The first time you make lasagna, my advice is to prepare the dishes in the kitchen, to avoid shrapneling your guest with spots of scorching pasta…... :cool: This recipe makes use of an extremely basic [I]ragů[/I], but I can assure you that it is really tasty! You can choose a good red wine with lasagna, but I believe that with this dish you can drink practically everything, from Mountain Dew to British cider. Buon appetito! [I]PS As always, many thanks to Gabriella for the photographs![/I] 3 stars 1 reviews
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