Last night I made a lasagne for dinner. I used a spice in my lasagne that I purchased a bit ago at a spice shop in Encinitas called The Spice Way. I walked into the shop with my husband, Dennis, one day and loved looking at all the different spices they had to offer. There is a spice store in Milwaukee that my sister and mom will visit and, on occasion, will send me a box of spices. I always wished I had a place here I could go to like the one they visit and was so happy to stumble upon The Spice Way.
The wonderful woman that owns The Spice Way suggested I try the Pizza and Pasta Blend. She poured a bit in my hand and had me try it. This spice was so good, I had to buy it. There are actually pieces of dried mushroom in this seasoning. This seasoning actually tastes just like your favorite pizza at your favorite neighborhood pizza place. It would definitely be great for a homemade pizza and is certainly great in lasagne. I will surely try this spice the next time I make spaghetti and meatballs.
Their spices do come in jars, they just put a small amount in a bag for me to try to see if I liked it. Let me just say, I loved it! I will definitely be going back to buy a jar of this fabulous seasoning.
While the water for my lasagne noodles was coming to a boil, I started browning the ground beef and sweet Italian sausage, along with kosher salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper flakes and the star of this show, the Pizza and Pasta blend. Once the meat was browned, I added one diced sweet yellow onion and three minced garlic cloves. After cooking the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes with the meat, I added a jar of Tomato Basil Marinara sauce. You can use any that you choose, I used the Trader Joe’s brand. I let the sauce come to a little boil and turned the temperature down to medium-low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, giving the sauce a chance to thicken.
While my meat sauce was thickening, I mixed together ricotta cheese, eggs, grated parmesan and fresh chopped parsley. I always use two containers of ricotta cheese. I hate to run short on my ricotta mixture when making lasagne and find that using only one 16-ounce container isn’t enough for my liking. I always use the low-fat or fat-free. To the ricotta cheese, I added two eggs, 1/2 cup of parmesan and 1 cup of fresh parsley. I wanted to see a lot of green in this dish, for the prettiness factor.
Once the meat sauce had thickened, I started putting together my lasagne. Instead of using some of my precious meat sauce for the bottom of my baking dish, I simply opened an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce and poured that into the dish. Next, I added 3 lasagne noodles (I used an oval dish, you may need four noodles if you use a traditional, rectangular 9×13 dish). On top of the noodles, I spread half of the meat mixture. On top of that, I dolloped half of the ricotta mix and spread it about. To the top of the ricotta, I sprinkled half of my shredded mozzarella/shredded parmesan mixture. I used a total of 2-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella (I used light mozzarella because I wanted less fat in my lasagne. Feel free to use any mozzarella you like), and 1 cup shredded parmesan. Once I completed that layer, I added another layer of 3 noodles and repeated the rest. There were actually only 6 lasagne noodles in my dish, but you could use 9 and just make each layer a bit thinner. On top of the last layer of mozzarella and parmesan, I sprinkled dried basil.
I placed my lasagne in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. I let it rest for 15 minutes after baking.
This lasagne was really good. The flavor from the pizza and pasta blend seasoning really made this dish, You can order on-line at The Spice Way at http://www.thespiceway.com.
Dennis is out at a concert tonight with a friend. Kylie and I are looking forward to having this lasagne again tonight. I think it’s going to taste even better the second time around! My Dad used to love leftovers. He would say “If something was good the first time around, it’s sure to be even better the second time.” He loved every dinner my mom made (meatloaf was a definite favorite though!).
6-9 lasagne noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons Pizza and Pasta Blend (The Spice Way, http://www.thespiceway.com, #thespiceway)
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 26-ounce jar tomato basil marinara sauce
2 16-ounce containers ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
2-1/4 cups shredded lite mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Boil lasagne noodles.
- Brown ground beef and Italian sausage with seasonings.
- Add onion and garlic to meat, cook 5 minutes.
- Add marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Turn temperature down to medium-low and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until sauce thickens.
- Mix ricotta, eggs, parmesan and parsley together. Set aside.
- Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
- Pour can of tomato sauce on bottom of dish.
- Lay first three-four noodles down.
- Add half of the meat mixture to the noodles and spread out.
- Spread half of ricotta mixture over meat.
- Sprinkle half shredded mozzarella cheese/parmesan cheese over ricotta.
- Repeat layers.
Until next time, Kris