Lasagna


Lasagna is not a traditional Greek dish, but since I am a pasta lover, this is a staple in our menu. The secret to a good lasagna is to make two separate sauces, one with meat and one just tomato. Use oven-ready pasta (or fresh pasta if available) and a combination of three cheeses.

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Ingredients – Meat Sauce
650g of ground veal
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
2 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
4 cups water

Ingredients – Lasagna
1 package oven ready lasagna
2 cups ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded Kefalotiri

Ingredients – Tomato Sauce
1 28oz can whole italian tomatoes
1 14oz can crushed heirloom tomatoes
1 onion chopped,
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
3 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups stock*
6 cups water
1 1” piece of Parmagiana rind

Start by preparing the tomato sauce as it will require time to simmer. Heat the oil in a pot and add the onions, cooking until translucent (approximately 3 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Crush the whole tomatoes by hand and add to the pot along with the crushed tomatoes. Use the water to rinse out any remaining tomato in the can and add to the pot. Add the stock (* beef or chicken), Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and spices. Mix well and drop in the cheese rind. Simmer on low until reduced to a thick consistency, approximately 3 to 4 hours. This basic sauce can be used to top pizza as well, so you can make extra and freeze it for future use.

Next prepare the meat sauce. Heat the oil in a pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and add the meat. Using a spatula, break down the meat into pieces, ensuring that it is cooked through. Once cooked, add the salt, oregano, basil leaves and tomato paste and cook for an additional minute. Add the water and sugar and cook on high heat until the liquid reduces.

Cook the lasagna noodles for 8 minutes in boiling salted water. Oven-ready pasta traditionally does not need to be cooked, however, I like to slightly cook it as I find it gives the pasta a texture similar to that of fresh pasta.

Once your ingredients are ready to go, you can start layering. Start with a layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle the first layer with Kefalotiri and then meat sauce. In any areas where there is no meat sauce, add the tomato sauce. For the second layer, add the pasta and cover with the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle mozzarella followed by a combination of the meat and tomato sauce as before. The next layer will be noodles covered with Kefalotiri and mozzarella cheese, meat sauce and tomato sauce. The final layer will be noodles covered with meat and tomato sauce. Cover the entire lasagna pan with remaining mozzarella cheese and Kefalotiri.

Bake covered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Makes one 10” x 14” x 4” pan.

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