Here is the first recipe since embarking on the food blogging project with my mom: heart meat lasagna! This was the last dish that Errol and I made before moving down, and I am still eating it for meals trying to finish it! But I'm definitely still not sick of it yet :)
There were a lot of ingredients in this one, and on any normal occasion I wouldn't make it because of that. Lots of ingredients for 1-2 people isn't that efficient. I've had many wasted bunches of parsley and cilantro because of this. One of the new ingredients I found at Harris Teeter that I didn't know existed was meat loaf mix (1/3 lb each ground pork, beef chuck, ground veal). I was stuck buying $3 basil that looked really old, but it's all they had. I can't wait to start my herb garden once I get back from home in August.
But I digress...
One of the ingredients was a whole onion, chopped. I thought it was too much, but it's definitely not! So face the tears and keep on choppin'. Also, the recipe calls for making this in a Dutch oven. But that's on the next shopping list, post-loan receipt. So is a cast iron skillet. And an iPad!!!
This was when we added some culinary improvisation: green pepper. We felt bad that it was purely meat, cheese, and pasta. This is only half of a pepper, but it could have probably had more.
Meat added, nice and brown.
An entire can of tomato puree and another can of diced tomatoes!
Combination of ricotta cheese, parmesan, basil, and an egg. Looks deliciously creamy.
Time to assemble! With no-boil pasta!
I thought it was strange that the recipe called for starting by spreading a 1/4 cup of sauce over the bottom of the pan. But then realized it was to prevent the bottom layer of pasta from sticking/burning.
Layer after layer...
Had just enough sauce to top the last layer! But not enough mozzarella... I didn't measure shredded mozzarella, but I should probably get more next time. It calls for 1 and 1/2 cups sauce to be spread over each layer. I used a 1/4 measuring cup for exact measurement and easier spreading. I normally don't follow recipes so precisely, but this cookbook is very well calculated!
Voila! Just out of the oven. Smelled amazing.
This recipe requires mis en place, the French term that refers to having everything in place. Things happen minutes after another, so there is no time to chop things once the sauteeing has begun. Be sure to chop your onions, mince your garlic, (chop the bell pepper), open your cans, etc.
My first lasagna was a success! And is still satisfying my stomach for at least 4 more meals.
Disclaimer: These pictures were taken with an iPhone camera. Left the D-SLR at the old apartment in the middle of moving.