First, we are now in the week of "Markadan", that's the week right before my husband's birthday. So, I am trying to hide his presents strategically throughout the house and figure out how they are going to get wrapped. Planning the infamous Puttanesca dinner and figure out his birthday dessert, as he is not much of a cake guy (unless it's cheesecake that is).
Monday...car battery died - of course it did, because instead of using any extra $140.00 on holiday gifts, I get to purchase a new car battery and they didn't even gift wrap it for me.
Tuesday...daughter gets sick and throws up in her classroom garbage can - I think that pretty much sums up how that day went.
Wednesday...temperatures dropped to -15 degrees. I know that my friends and family in Alaska think I am a wimp, since I grew up in 40 below temperatures most of my life. I'm sorry, but after 25 years in Southern California thinned my blood and it's just plain cold.
My dear husband though has made sure that I have a blazing hot fire for me when I get home every night. I would love however to be in front of the fireplace at our Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste Michelle vineyards that we visited last week.
We all then ended up back at their house for what has to be the World's Best Lasagna, not just my opinion, it actually is called that and now I know why. Cindy made the sauce the day before, which I think made a tremendous difference for all those flavors to infuse together...the end result was awesome!!
|Photo courtesy of internet.|
Our lasagna was eaten by the family
before I could get a good photo of it.
World's Best Lasagna
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
|1.||In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.|
|2.||Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.|
|3.||Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).|
|4.||To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.|
|5.||Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.|