Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chef Big Monkey Prepares Lasagna - Part 1

I decided to prepare a tasty meal for my family last Sunday - homemade lasagna! I'm going to show you step-by-step how to make this masterpiece for yourself at home. My recipe came from "The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking," 1984 edition. However, I got a little creative myself because I supersized the recipe!

I left the meat portion alone, but I basically doubled everything else. If you like a lot of meat, you can increase the portion, or you can make it meatless as well. I began by browning 1 1b. of ground beef and 2 Italian sausage links (casings removed). Once fully cooked, I drained the fat and juices and moved the meat to my sauce pot. I've been told it's best not to pour the drippings into your sink. Laura's grandpa used to pour them into a steel coffee can and put it in the fridge labeled "FATSO." When the can was full, he would toss it out.

I finely chopped a gigantic onion. Then I cooked it in the same pan as above with a bit of olive oil until the onions turned translucent.

At the end of the onions cooking, I added some minced garlic. The garlic doesn't need very long to cook because it turns brown right away. The recipe called for one clove of garlic. ONE clove? Fugetaboutit! I supersized that because we love lots of garlic.

Once the garlic and onions were cooked, I added them to the sauce pot with the meat. Now it's time to add the tomato products. The recipe called for a 28 oz. can of peeled Italian tomatoes and a 6 oz. can of tomato paste. I added more tomato products to double this and then some. I got creative and added some tomato puree too. You can't really mess this up. Just make sure you get a nice consistency.

With the major sauce ingredients mixed together, I added approximately two teaspoons of sugar and crushed oregano to taste. The sauce should simmer for about 40 minutes.

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