Monday, March 28, 2016

Mrs. King's Lasagna - Updated

Mrs. King's Lasagna
Last Friday, for the first time, Tom made Mrs. King's lasagna using the recipe here on the blog. I am the one who has usually made it over the years --- and  he made a good substitution :  ricotta for the cottage cheese --- which made the sauce silkier.

Plus there were several other areas in the recipe that would benefit from clarification, so I am reposting it.  Like how long to bake it!  Emily pointed that out to me.

Mrs. King's Lasagna (Updated)
(from our neighbor, growing up.  Her husband worked with our dad.)

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 lb. lasagna noodles (half of a box, not a whole box)
2 T. cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef, pork and veal mix (sometimes called meatloaf mix)
2 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 T. basil
1 1/2 cups water
2 6-ounce cans of tomato paste (with Italian herbs, if desired)
2 eggs, beaten
1 pint cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1/8. t. freshly ground nutmeg
1 T. minced fresh parsley or 1/2 T. dried parsley
1/2 lb. mozzarella, shredded
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Heat water for lasagna while you prepare the meat sauce, and the cottage cheese/egg sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in skillet, cook garlic and onion until soft.  Add meat and seasoning and cook until crumbly. 
Add tomato paste and hot water.
Simmer 5 minutes or so and set aside.

Blend beaten eggs with cottage cheese (or ricotta for a silkier sauce) in bowl.  Add nutmeg and parsley and stir to mix. 

Cook noodles as directed and drain. Usually 10 minutes.

In a baking dish (9x13x2) put a thin layer of meat sauce, half the noodles, all the cottage cheese ...

This is where the recipe stops because I have lost the second card over the years.  So, I just put a third of the remaining meat sauce on top, then another layer of noodles, more meat sauce,
half the mozzarella, another layer of noodles, the remaining meat sauce, the remaining mozzarella.
and top it with the Parmesan cheese.

If you run out of sauce as I have at times, just open a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce and layer it in.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until bubbly all around and browning on top. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle fresh parsley on top.  

Here are some cooking tips I used when cooking the recipe.  Salt along the way I add a pinch when I start the onions, and keep adding and tasting throughout the course of cooking the sauce, so it doesn't end up over salted.

Add your garlic well after the onions have started cooking so you don't burn your garlic.

A ground meat mix of beef, pork and veal makes a creamier, richer meat sauce than straight beef.  Be sure to buy lean meat or drain off most of the fat.

I use lots of basil so the basil flavor really comes through in the sauce.

The nutmeg is a really nice touch, so I would not omit it.  Dried parsley works just as well as fresh parsley.

Also don't make a whole box of lasagna noodles, you will just end up wasting them.  8 ounces or half a box is enough to make the lasagna.

Serve it with a nice salad.  I like to make the Arugula Salad with Shaved Grana Padama.


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