Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Michael Simonesque Lasagna

I was watching Paula Deen this past weekend (DVR’d show) and her guest was Michael Simon (my favorite Iron Chef). They were making his Mom’s lasagna. It intrigued me because he made a thick meat sauce that wasn’t really a sauce so the lasagna was thickly layered without a lot of juice. While I can’t use all the same meats and spices he does (those pesky food allergy fears you know), I did mimic his method to create my own version. It came out quite well in my opinion. (There is very little similarity between the two recipes other than taking inspiration to make a super meaty drier lasagna).

I liked this recipe for many reasons. By cutting down the sauciness it came out cleaner and held its form better than my traditional lasagna. It was fast and easy to make and very hearty. This would be an easy recipe to adapt by adding some sliced veggies to it or taking to a potluck since its not as messy.

Meat Lasagna
1 Large box of noodles (boiled in salted water till al dente)
2 lbs ground sirloin
1 ½ medium large yellow onion-diced
2 tbs finely diced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp celery salt
Parsley and Italian Seasoning (amounts are up to you)
1 ball Fresh Mozzerella Cheese
1 bag shredded Mozzerella
½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan
12 oz cottage cheese
16 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1 can tomato Paste
2 cans Diced tomatoes

In a cast iron Dutch oven, brown hamburger meat along with garlic and onion. I had to add a tidbit of water to mine as the hamburger doesn’t have enough fat to provide a cooking base. Add Tomatoes, seasonings, and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan, and ricotta. Stir until blended and smooth.

To assemble: Spread some of the meat mixture on the bottom of pan and layer lasagna noodles over the top so no meat shows. Spread about half of the ricotta mixture over and layer on another set of noodles. Spread some meat sauce and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Repeat with ricotta mixture. Top off with meat sauce. Tear the mozzarella ball into pieces and layer over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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