Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Homemade Meat Lasagna {Recipe}

This week's theme in my cooking workshop was Italian food. We made lasagna, which is one of our family's favorite food. I wanted to share my experience and recipe. Has anyone made lasagna at home? I remember making them a very long time ago and it was either too dry or too soggy. Eventually I got the hang of it and knew how much filling and sauce I needed. Also have to remember that cooking time and temp with every oven is different.

We learned how to layer and stack the lasagna in the workshop. It was interesting that we were told we didn't need to cook the pasta before layering as I have always cooked them to make them more tender. We were told that the sauce will moisten it and cook in the oven. It actually turned out pretty good. But when I made them at home, it's different even though I followed the instructions. Our pasta wasn't as soft as I like it to be (not fully cooked through). Maybe I had to add more sauce or water to the meat sauce.

Meat Lasagna
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10-12


2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-3/4 lbs lean ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork, or beef)
1 tin tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Saute onion until softened. Add carrot and celery and saute about 3 minutes longer. Add garlic and saute one more minute.
  3. Add ground meat, breaking it up as you go. Cook the meat, stirring and breaking it up until it is brown.
  4. Add tomato paste, water, sugar, oregano, and diced tomatoes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil.
  5. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to blend flavours. Check for consistency and if too thick, add a littl ebit more water. If too thin, increase heat breifly to medium-high to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in basil and set aside for assembly.

INGREDIENTS (Vegetable/Cheese Filling)

2 eggs
3-1/2 cup (approx.) low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION (Vegetable/Cheese Filling)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs lightly to blend.
  2. Add cottage/ricotta cheese, salt and pepper and spinach. Stir to mix well. Set aside for assembly.


--> meat sauce
--> pasta
--> zucchini
--> meat sauce
--> pasta
--> spinach & cottage/ricotta cheese
--> meat sauce
--> Bottom of the pan

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