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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Cheesiest, Meatiest Lasagna

Today I was sitting, thinking, trying to figure out something to cook for dinner that we haven't had in a long time.  I thought about making stuffed shells, but since there are no actual shell pasta here, it makes it tough.  I figured the next best thing would be lasagna.  It is one of Josh's favorites, and I figured it would be easy to experiment a little bit with it.  So, Jules and I headed to Wong and I got the ingredients.  I forgot how expensive it is to make lasagna here but it was totally worth it.


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey, beef or chicken
  • 1/2 lb chopped italian sausage (I usually take the casing off and just crumble it in)
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 cup grated zucchini 
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jar or your favorite spaghetti sauce or  1 large can crushed tomato
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil (or tsp dried)
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • about 12 lasagna noodles (if not precooked, prepare according to directions on box)
  • 2.5 cups fresh ricotta cheese 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  • In a dutch oven or slow cooker, brown ground turkey, italian sausage, bacon, onion and garlic.  Add in Zucchini and basil and cook a couple more minutes.  Stir in spaghetti sauce or crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water.  Season with the sugar, italian seasoning, fresh parsley and salt and pepper.  Cover and Simmer for about 1 hour.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, dried parsley and 1 tsp salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F (190c)
  • To assemble, spread about 1 1/2 cups of meat mixture into a deep 9x13 baking dish (I don't have one of those in Peru so I used a 12in diameter round baking dish).  Arrange one layer of noodles over the entire thing.  Spread with 1/2 the Ricotta mixture.  Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over the mozza and sprinkle with 1/2 the parmesan cheese. Repeat layers and cover with remaining mozza and parmesan.  Cover with foil (if the lasagna is right up to the top, spray the foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  • Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30.  I also broiled it for about 5 minutes at the end to crisp the cheese, but it is up to your discretion. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes before serving. 

  • Enjoy!

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