The Ul­ti­mate Lasagna

Hands-on time: 45 min­utes To­tal time: 3 hours Makes: 12 serv­ings

Canadian Living Comfort Food - - Front Page -

With layer af­ter scrump­tious layer of rich meat sauce, ten­der pasta and creamy cheese, this lasagna is the best you’ll ever have. The fam­ily-friendly clas­sic is just as good when you make it ahead, so it’s a Mon­day-night life­saver.

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

1 rib cel­ery, diced

1 car­rot, diced

5 cloves gar­lic, minced

675 g lean ground beef

2 cans (each 156 ml) tomato paste

2 cans (each 796 ml) diced toma­toes

1 cup dry red or white wine

2 bay leaves

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp pep­per

12 lasagna noo­dles

1 tub (475 g) ex­tra-smooth ri­cotta

cheese

1 cup grated Parme­san cheese

1 egg

½ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ tsp each salt and pep­per

4½ cups shred­ded moz­zarella cheese

In Dutch oven or large heavy-bot­tomed saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onions, cel­ery, car­rot and 4 cloves of the gar­lic, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft­ened, about 5 min­utes. Stir in beef and tomato paste; cook, break­ing up beef with spoon, un­til no longer pink, about 5 min­utes. Stir in toma­toes, wine, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pep­per; bring to boil. Re­duce heat and sim­mer, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til slightly thick­ened, about 40 min­utes. Dis­card bay leaves.

Mean­while, in large saucepan of boil­ing salted wa­ter, cook noo­dles for 2 min­utes less than pack­age in­struc­tions for al dente; drain. Ar­range noo­dles, ½ inch apart, in sin­gle layer on tea towel.

In bowl, stir to­gether ri­cotta, Parme­san, egg, basil, salt, pep­per and re­main­ing gar­lic.

Set aside 1½ cups of the sauce. Spread one-third of the re­main­ing sauce in bot­tom of 13- x 9-inch (3 L) bak­ing dish. Ar­range 3 noo­dles over top; sprin­kle with 1½ cups of the moz­zarella. Top with half of the re­main­ing sauce, 3 noo­dles, ri­cotta mix­ture, 3 noo­dles, re­main­ing sauce, then 3 noo­dles. Top with re­served sauce and re­main­ing moz­zarella. Cover with foil. Bake in 375°F oven for 45 min­utes. Un­cover and bake un­til moz­zarella is golden, about 15 min­utes. Tent with foil; let stand for 30 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

PER SERV­ING: about 551 cal, 35 g pro, 30 g to­tal fat (16 g sat. fat), 36 g carb (5 g di­etary fi­bre, 10 g sugar), 92 mg chol, 1,065 mg sodium, 868 mg potas­sium. % RD I: 47% cal­cium, 36% iron, 36% vit A, 43% vit C, 33% fo­late.

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