Sunday, February 25, 2018

4-2-5-5 Lasagna


So, this season I was determined to have the robotics team eat well during both the build season and the competitions. I started a meal train and different families signed up for different weeks. For the season kick-off, I brought lasagna. Apparently, it's been the talk of the team for weeks.


One day at breakfast, this happened...

R: You know the kids at robotics were talking about your lasagna.
C: What about it?
R: They were wondering when you were on the schedule to bring food again...and J1 asked if you could bring lasagna. J2 said, "It doesn't matter what she brings, it'll be good. I've had her corned beef and cabbage, too. Besides, it's rude to make requests like that."
R: No, her friends make requests all the time. It's not rude. It's how you get what you want from my mom. You just ask.

Too true. Well, apparently, they took the advice to heart and when I stopped in to see if they needed anything (you know, I was thinking fruits or water), J2 muttered 'lasagna' under his breath. This happened multiple times. I took the hint!

So, when I was on the schedule to bring lunch, again, I decided to make a batch of 4-2-5-5 Lasagna. That's their FRC team number, in case you're wondering. But it's also...4 kinds of meat, 2 pans, 5 kinds of cheese, and only took 5 requests!

Jake was excited to help me. I'm not sure if he wanted to learn my lasagna secrets...or if the kitchen is just the warmest room in the house. It's been a chilly week.


Ingredients makes 1 pan; I doubled this for the 4255 team
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 1/2 C diced bacon
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 sausage links, cooked and diced
  • 2 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C red wine
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 C fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 T fresh oregano
  • 2 T fresh basil
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella and provolone)
  • 1 C shredded parmesan
  • 1 C small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta


Procedure
In a large, flat-bottom pan, saute the onions, fennel, and diced bacon in a splash of olive oil until the bacon fat is rendered and the onions are softened and translucent. Add in the ground meats and cook till browned through completely.

Add in the tomato sauce, wine, water, and cooked sausages. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To assemble the lasagna, layer meat sauce, noodles, shredded cheese blend, cottage cheese, ricotta, and more meat sauce. Repeat till your pan is full though the last layer should be meat so that the noodles are completely covered.


Cover with foil. Bake in the 375 degree F oven for one hour. Remove the foil. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Return pan to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese melted. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

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