This is the time of year to eat, drink and be Merry–right?
The hubs invited some co-workers over for dinner and I needed to make some suppers for folks at church. I had all the ingredients ready for pizza and lasagna and I thought I would have the best of both worlds. I crossed my fingers and prayed my guests where not lactose intolerant and I got busy.
I like to make my sauce–I am not snooty, I just love to make a big pot of tomato gravy to simmer away an afternoon. I usually make a big batch and freeze and share with family and friends who need. You want to use a jar–you go right ahead.
I always use pork, maybe it is the Iowa girl in me. I make my own italian sausage. I brown my ground pig with garlic, red pepper flake, fennel seed, black pepper, dried onion and salt. remove that to drain and I brown some mushrooms and set aside. Sweat some veg in a bit of olive oil–Whatever you like on pizza– bell pepper (red and green are so festive this time of year) onion, garlic, olives…
I toss some pepperoni in with the veg to really give it the pizza feel and we are on the way.
1 yellow onion finely chopped softened in a bit of olive oil. 1 can tomato paste.
Stir your tomato paste around a bit until you smell…tomato! I add 1 can crushed tomato and 1 lovely jar of canned garden tomato I was saving for a special occasion!
So then I sprinkle in a palm full of dried basil and oregano (yeah, I got a big palm and that is an exact measurement) and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. There is a lot of tomato to season but a lot of salty ingredients to join the celebration.
The cheese filling…
I use part skim Ricotta, marcapone. If I don’t have marscapone– I use cream cheese. It is rich and gives the dish a little something special. I don’t eat like this everyday–and January is coming, I’ll eat Special K for a month. Mix in a couple of beautiful farm eggs, some salt and pepper and a bit of fresh, chopped italian parsley and set aside.
Now like the elves at the North Pole I must get my assembly line ready.
A bit of sauce on the bottom of my pan. Noodles aka pasta. I never cook my noodles. These are just plain lasagna noodles. I find if I par boil, soak or whatever I get a limp, soupy mess. Layer of cheese and more noodles.
More gravy, noodles, sliced provolone and shredded mozzarella.
Next all of those pizza topping and a layer of noods.
Almost done. Cheese layer, noodles, gravy, cheese.
That my friends is a regalo–(italian for gift!;)) Make it ahead and park it in the freezer for those days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when you can’t face anymore left over turkey and you can not convince yourself that fudge is a meal! Better than a Chia Pet or Clapper, this makes a great gift!