Chief's Best Lasagna

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Chief Longwind Of The North

Aug 26, 2004
My Finest Lasagna
My best lasagna story comes from when I was first married. A
good friend of mine agreed that the women were always given
the work‑horse load at any get-togethers. So we decided to
give our wives a break and do the cooking for a lasagna party.
We had about ten young married couples attend. To make sure
there was plenty to go around, we were careful to fill each
lasagna pan three layers deep, but no more. When everyone had eaten their fill, we put together a last pan-full of lasagna for ourselves. To our surprise, we found we had more than enough ingredients left.
Of course, that last batch was extraordinary. We were accused by all of saving the best for last. We couldn’t convince anyone that this wasn’t true. But we really did have everyone’s best interest at heart. We were innocent!
Oh, I got carried away for a moment. Let’s get to the recipe.

Ingredients for Lasagna party
6 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes
2 cans (16 oz. Cans) crushed tomato
12 oz. tomato paste
7 cloves finely sliced or pressed garlic
1 large white onion diced
½ tbsp. Cooking oil(preferably olive oil)
1 tbsp. Fresh Oregano
3/4 tbsp. Fresh Sweet basil
3/4 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Rosemary
4 Bay leaf, crumbled
1 lb. Fresh sliced mushrooms.
2 lbs. Ground beef.
2 lb. Italian sausage
4/4 lb.. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
½ lb. Shredded Muenster Cheese
16 oz. Cottage Cheese
3 package Lasagna noodles

Place olive oil in a deep 2 quart sauce pan and heat until
fragrant. Add mushrooms, garlic, and onion. Pace lid on pan
and cook until onions are translucent but still slightly
crispy. Add the herbs and cook for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add Roma and grape tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes starring every 5 minutes or do, until 5ye tomatoes begin to break down..

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and crushed tomato. Cover and simmer.
Place the ground beef in a skillet and brown with 1 tsp. salt. (Hint: Cook ground beef with lid on the pan. When meat is
cooked through, pour liquid in a metal bowl and place in the
refrigerator. The fat will float to the top and harden, protecting the broth underneath. The broth will gel into an aspic. When you need beef broth, lift away the hardened fat and you have a delicious fat free beef broth to use in gravies, soups, stews, etc.)
If the sauce is thick, add water until it has the consistency of a thick chili.

i like my sauce a bit stronger than most, si it stands up to the other ingredients, and doesn't get lost. Taste and correct the seasoning to your tastes.

Ladle enough sauce into a lightly greased 9 x 12 cake pan to cover the bottom. Place lasagna noodles that have been boiled in salted water for 8 minutes, lengthwise in pan to cover the bottom. Ladle more sauce mixture over the noodles yo cover, followed by an even coating of the meat mixture. Then spread 1/3 of each of the cheeses, and chopped black olives over the meat.
Follow this with another layer of noodles, sauce, meat,
cheese, and olives, and repeat until the pan is full.
The last layer of noodles must be covered with enough sauce to
protect the noodles from drying out.

Cover pan and seal with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350'- oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil when finished, Top with another layer of cheese, and place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, and lightly browned. Let lasagna ret for 20 minutest allow it to tighten up before serving. Serve with Bruschetta, fresh spinach, and
your favorite beverage.

I use cottage cheese rather than ricotta, as ricotta becomes grainy when heated. The cottage chees curds have a similar flavor, but melt smoothly into the lasagna. Try it. I believe you too will enjoy the difference.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the Nprth
I didn't know that ricotta gets grainy when heated. I started using cottage cheese as a matter of frugality. I always thought ricotta tasted very much like cottage cheese, but at much higher price. ;)
I didn't know that ricotta gets grainy when heated. I started using cottage cheese as a matter of frugality. I always thought ricotta tasted very much like cottage cheese, but at much higher price. ;)

I was following a recipe for Spanakopita (Spinach pie) which called for Ricotta or cottage cheese. I happened to have cottage cheese in the house, so I used that ( I did question it, but figured how bad could it be). Turns out, I loved the consistency and slight creaminess, so have been using it exclusively ever since ( Until my wife turned vegan. Now I have to be more creative, but that's another story :LOL:)
I didn't know that ricotta gets grainy when heated...

I have always used ricotta cheese in my lasagna and have never found it to be grainy. In fact, Himself mentioned how smooth the cheese layer was in the lasagna we had last week - and I pulled that out of the freezer. I do beat a raw egg into it vigorously before spreading it. I don't know if that is what keeps it smooth.
Mine differs.

Fry up ground beef, add tomato sauce, thyme and celery seed. Cook a bit to get the flavors melded.

Fry up sausage, add sauce.

Throw some oil in the pan, add a layer of noodles. Some mozz. or provolone. Then the sausage sauce. Then more mozz. More noodles, then ground beef sauce. Then noodles and ricotta on them. More noodles. More ground beef sauce, ricotta right on/in it. Skimpy layer of noodles with provolone under it and on it.

Then I put small cut up pieces of pepperoni on top.

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