Crunchy Lasagna recipe



I always thought making lasagna was one of the hardest things to do. Also, that it was one of the most complicated recipes one could follow. Even at restaurants (I am sure most of you have experienced this) it’s hard to trust lasagna dishes, unless the restaurant is known for it; otherwise you get stuck with a runny, mushy, bland pasta casserole.

It was as such, that I started a quest to find the greatest and “simplest” lasagna recipe out there. I wandered the aisles of supermarkets, researched many recipes, tested and tasted and finally ended up with my own unique and customized version of it. People who have tried it are already fans (you know who you are), so I can assure you that if you stick to what you like and re-create for your own taste, you will end up with the perfect lasagna recipe, just for you!

Now, as a disclaimer, I will say that any of the ingredients listed can be swapped according to your liking (e.g. use parsley instead of cilantro). In addition, this lasagna recipe has a tendency to appeal to the “healthier” lifestyle. It uses whole wheat pasta as well as skips on the ricotta cheese, which is one of the cheeses with the highest amount of cholesterol.

So without further ado, here is how the secret ingredients developed into my version of Crunchy Lasagna:

 

Lasagna Recipe
Ingredients (serves 6):
  • 1/2 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 package of whole wheat Olivieri pre-cooked lasagna noodles
  • 3-4 table spoons of original Old World Style ragu sauce
  • 1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro leafs (remove stems)
  • 1 cup of shredded parmigiano romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the chopped veggies into a large bowl (garlic, onion, peppers and tomato) and season with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet on the stove on high heat, coat with olive oil. Once hot, add all veggies and let them caramelize for 3-4 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and let it mix in well with the veggies for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms to mixture and let them cook for another 1-2 minutes. Once mushrooms start to soften up and the caramelization from the bottom of the pan has risen, add lean ground beef, season with more salt and pepper and stir for another 3-4 minutes. The moment you see the beef starts losing its pinkness, add ragu sauce and cilantro leafs and let them cook for 2 minutes max or before the sauce starts boiling. Remove skillet from stove, let it cool down a bit.

Spread butter to the bottom and sides of a baking dish. Place the first layer of pre-cooked pasta noodles and ensure there is little space in between the sheets and the corners and sides of the dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the noodles, then top it off with the beef mix. Repeat the same process one more time, this time sprinkle parmigiano romano cheese as well.

Once 2 layers are finished, add the last layer of pasta sheets which will become the lasagna topper (do not add beef mix). Sprinkle it with good amounts of parmigiana romano cheese and any left-over mozzarella cheese. Bake lasagna in a preheated oven at 350 F (177 C) for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven if top looks crunchy and cheese has darkened a bit, otherwise leave for another 5-10 minutes. You will notice lasagna top looks crunchy…this happens when using pre-cooked lasagna sheets, what a great discovery!
Upon removing lasagna from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let it sit for 10 minutes, et voilà! A fabulous lasagna recipe at your fingertips.

Until next time Foodies.

Buen Provecho!
Foodies Inked.

 

The challenge: Making Lasagna
The problem: Degree of difficulty
The solution: Get the right ingredients
Today’s secret ingredient(s):  Whole wheat pre-cooked lasagna noodles + Ragu and Worcestershire sauce

3 Responses to Crunchy Lasagna recipe

  1. Anonymous June 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    This lasagna is amazing! So yummy and super easy, and I love how crispy it is!

    Reply
  2. Foodies Inked October 19, 2011 at 2:23 am

    That is amazing! Thanks for the post :)

    Reply
  3. Anonymous October 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I love this recipe and use it all the time. I never attempted lasagna before this because it seemed intimidating but this made it super easy. Thanks!

    Reply

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