Come and Get It Night Before Lasagna!!
I was sitting down eating the other day and asked myself, “So, how Italian am I that makes it me love Italian food so much?”
So, I figured out I’m an 8th Italian so obviously it’s in my blood. Having figured this out I wanted to improve on a classic Italian dish, Lasagna. I love lasagna but, I love it even more the next day so, I decided to create this recipe so it can be enjoyed as it should be…the next day. The reason lasagna tastes so good the next day is that the seasonings and flavors of the ingredients have had a chance to meld together and “marry” so to speak. I know you’ve had Lasagna before but, you’ve never had MY Lasagna. Make the recipe and you’ll find out that this recipe is put together so well and it’s been given the time it needs to develop into the best lasagna you’ll ever have. I promise, you’ll love it as much as you love “lasagna leftovers” plus it’s fresher and fuller in flavor. Please enjoy!!
Linda’s The Night Before Lasagna:
1 box Lasagna noodles cooked to box instructions. Add 3 Tbl oil to boiling water before adding noodles and stir noodles after adding them in order to keep them from sticking together. Drain and rinse with cool water to allow ease in handling noodles.
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion diced fine
5 Garlic cloves chopped finely or 2 Tbl. Minced garlic
1 small bell pepper chopped fine
6 Portabello mushroom chopped fine
1 1/2 Tbl dried Basil crushed
1 1/2 Tbl dried Oregano
1 tsp Chicago steak seasoning
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp rubbed Sage
1/4 cup fresh chopped or dried Parsley divided in half
Brown ground beef with onions, garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, half of parsley and seasonings. Add 16 oz can Petite diced tomatoes and 16 oz can Tomato Sauce. Then add 4 Roma tomatoes diced small.
Stir all ingredients until heated through. Remove from heat.
1 lb Riccotta cheese, whole milk or skim
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp dried lemon peel
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine filling ingredients until well mixed.
Spray a 9X12 baking dish with cooking spray.
Take a spoonful of meat sauce and spread it thinly in bottom of baking dish. Take 1 lasagna noodle and lay it on top of meat sauce lengthwise in baking dish. Do the same with 3-4 lasagna noodles laying them side by side, slightly overlapping edges of noodles until you have a single layer of noodles across dish. Place 1/3 of filling on top of noodles and using a spatula or butter knife spread evenly over top of noodles. Place 1/3 meat sauce on top of filling and spread evenly over filling and noodles. Take lasagna noodles and make another single layer on top of meat sauce just like before slightly overlapping again. Repeat a layer of filling then a layer of meat sauce over that spreading each layer evenly. Repeat noodles, filling and meat sauce one more time.
1 lb Mozzarella cheese grated
Sprinkle cheese over top of lasagna layers. Sprinkle remaining Parsley evenly over grated cheese layer.
Cover lasagna with plastic wrap securing wrap around sides firmly. Place a layer of aluminum foil over the top of plastic wrap sealing firmly. Place lasagna in refridgerator over night.
Remove lasagna from fridge. If you used a glass baking dish preheat oven to 325°. If you used a metal pan preheat oven to 350°. Place a cookie sheet in oven under the rack where your lasagna will sit in case lasagna bubbles over. Remove foil carefully and then remove plastic wrap. Replace foil over lasagna wrapping tightly. Place in heated oven for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove foil and place dish back in oven for 15 minutes. When cheese on top is golden brown remove from oven. Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting it. Cut into 8 squares and serve with garlic bread or corn bread. Serves 8 people.
If you’d like to make and freeze ahead, place covered lasagna in a freezer safe container and freeze up to 3 months. To cook, remove from freezer, remove foil and plastic wrap. Replace foil firmly on lasagna again. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes if still frozen, remove foil and bake additional 15 minutes or until golden brown. If lasagna is thawed, bake as instructed for original recipe.