Saturday, February 19, 2011

special italian lasagna

This recipe is dedicated to janel--I hope you like it  :)
Recipe yield--one pan of lasagna

The finished lasagna

Janel had the idea of taking pictures as I cooked this one, and so I tried to snap some pictures of the different ingredients I used (and I threw in quite a few, big surprise).  

I'm going to put together an ingredients list, but I am going list the ingredients with the pictures.  Each picture essentially represents a separate phase or portion of the recipe.  There is definitely room for some experimentation in this recipe.  My version is fairly spicy, but please make it the way you like it  :) 
  • preheat oven to 400 (this step comes especially early in my mustard yellow, 60s-style oven)

Saute us!
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
  • minced fresh garlic (about 4 or 5 cloves)
  • chopped onion--i used about 1/2 an onion
  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced shallot (for stronger onion taste)
  • spicy sausage--i used 1/2 tube
  • thick sliced bacon--a few slices, diced
  • meat tenderizer--recommended if using frozen meat
  • oil for frying
Coat a frying pan with pam or whatever--only a masochist wants to clean up a sticky, charred sausage after cooking.  Saute with oil--add more if onions do not cook quickly enough.  Cover frying pan with a lid, but be sure to stir the mix every few minutes.
When the sausage is browned, bacon is cooked and onions are no longer raw, begin adding sauce ingredients.

sauce and spice time!
  • can of tomato sauce 
  • dry oregano
  • basil--put enough in!  :)
  • italian seasoning
  • fennel seed (optional, but i have some so i threw it in)
  • spicy pepper flakes
  • cooking wine--i used red burgoundy, but white will also work (if you don't have any cooking wine, apple juice or a spoonful of sugar will work too)
  • tomato, chopped
  • green onions -- chopped
  • spinach--optional healthy addition
Stir tomato sauce, oregano, basil, italian seasoning, fennel seed, pepper, and chopped tomato into the frying pan. Add wine to sweeten sauce, and to add moisture if sauce is too dry.  Cover with lid and allow to simmer until thick.  (If your in a rush mix cornstarch with cold water and then add to sauce--this will make it thicken much quicker).  Add green onions last.

Add lasagna noodles to a pot of salted boiling water.  Cook pasta until it is almost done (al dente), and then strain and rinse. Set aside.

While tomato/meat sauce is simmering, mix the following in a medium mixing bowl:

  • milk, maybe 1/4 cup (any whippable cream will work)
  • parmesan and ricotta cheese--at least 1 cup
  • one egg
  • parsley flakes
  • dry oregano
  • basil pesto
  • cream cheese--the more, the richer
  • sour cream--one scoop
  • garlic powder--don't listen to what dad says, it'll be good  :P
Mix ingredients together until there are no lumps of cream cheese.

CHEESE!!!  Mix and match
  • mozarella, shredded
  • provolone, shredded
  • colby or monteray jack, shredded
  • white chipolte cheddar (not required, but I had some on hand so i used it)
  • cheddar--optional
Grease baking or casserole dish thoroughly. Add noodles, meat sauce, and white cheese sauce in layers.  Additional cheese may be added to each layer if extra space is available. Top with shredded cheese--the more the better this will taste.  I know cheese is pricy, but its worth me.
Cover and bake until lasagna is bubbly and cheese is well melted,

bon appetite!
Try not to go back for seconds--I dare you!

I got a lot of ideas for this from two different recipes on allrecipes, feel free to experiment and make this dish exactly the way you want to.  Be sure to scale recipes similar if you take ingredients from different ones.  Here are the major sources for this recipe-- 


  1. Mmm! You're making me crave lasagna! Will you bring some down to Provo to share with us? :)

  2. I'm drooling at this very minute. How about lunch at your house? I NEED some of that lasagna! And you pulled it off even with the mustard oven beast... Impressive!

  3. This is the best gift ever! A blog filled with Richie's culinary genius (recipes, tips, and hilarious commentary throughout), plus pics of the big yellow oven, all in honor of me. I LOVE IT! Next time, some advance notice so I can zip up to Logan to critique the final product firsthand?

  4. Dang, that looks SO tasty! I wish there was some of that waiting to greet me from my jam-packed fridge...alas... :)

  5. Sorry kim but this lasagna was sooo good, it's not going to make it down to provo on account of its deliciousness :)
    I saved a container of it in the freezer just for you janel. plus i still have all of the ingredients for this recipe, i would definitely be happy to make another batch of this. it really was delicious, i'm excited for you to try it :)

  6. Hey. This Logan chef could be pulling one over on you guys. Look carefully at the circumstantial evidence. He is cooking at 11:53 PM. How can you trust your taste buds at that hour? Hunger and fatigue can distort the best of tongues! (Hold the garlic and I would be inclined to offer my tasting services.) (Also, don't get down on me for the garlic thing. I can hardly get mom to stay in town these days as it is, let alone planting a big garlic smooch on her!)

    Cautious Dad

  7. Ha, you have to start the stove extra early! That looks awesome. Pesto and white chipotle cheddar cheese?! Wowie! I can't believe you have all that stuff on hand!! I need to branch out beyond cheddar cheese I guess!

  8. What!!! You have fennel seed and ricotta cheese on hand? You're supercook!

  9. I think your profile picture (Cooking with Pooh) or your title might better be changed to Cooking with Cream and Spices, don't you think?