Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Classic Lasagna and Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

Lasagna is one of my all time favorite meals to make for company. It's delicious, everyone loves it, and you can make it in advance! I have been making lasagna for years without using a recipe, and this is my first time to record my classic version. It's a long recipe but the steps are simple. It's easiest to divide up your tasks: 1. Sauce; 2. Meat; 3. Cheese; 4. Assembly. You'll put your own spin on these elements, and before you know it you won't need to use a recipe either. There are two keys to a perfect lasagna- season every layer and let it rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with garlic bread or bruschetta and easy and elegant prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundles for a stunning and flavorful meal. Enjoy!

Classic Lasagna
A rich homemade tomato sauce melts into flavorful meat, veggies and gooey cheese!
Serves 6-8

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
½ cup dry red wine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and stir for one minute. Add the dried herbs and stir until incorporated. Dump both cans of tomatoes into the pot and stir to combine. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add wine and fresh herbs and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat.

Cheese Filling:
1 container whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup cottage cheese
1 egg
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 package mushrooms, chopped (optional)
2 T. tomato paste
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat and add meat. Break up with a wooden spoon and stir for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms if using and stir to incorporate until mixture is browned and cooked through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste. Set aside.

1 package lasagna noodles
12 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, from a log
12 slices provolone cheese
Parmesan cheese

Soak lasagna noodles in hot tap water until softened, about 10 minutes. Spread a ladle full of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Add a layer of lasagna noodles and top with half of meat mixture, 1/3 of tomato sauce, 4 slices of provolone cheese, and half of cheese filling. Add another layer of lasagna noodles and repeat layering. Add another layer of noodles and top with remaining slices of provolone, tomato sauce, and all of the fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until browned and bubbly. Let set for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Sarah Lang

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Bundles
The easiest and most delicious side dish in my repertoire!
Serves 4 (2 bundles each)
32 fresh thin asparagus spears (about ¾ pound)
8 slices prosciutto
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Divide asparagus into groups of 4. Wrap with a slice of prosciutto and place on a non-stick baking sheet (a sheet with a baking rack is ideal). Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with pepper and a tiny bit of salt on tips of spears only (not prosciutto). Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until prosciutto is caramelized and asparagus is beginning to brown.

Recipe by Sarah Lang

No comments:

Post a Comment