If you’ve seen my other blog (or dug deep enough in this one) then you might have figured out that I’m a geek about many, many things. Well, one such thing is fairytales. I grew up on Disney, so it’s no shocker that I get pretty nostalgic when someone even mentions Beauty and the Beast or Pocahontas.
And then there was Once Upon a Time. The writing leaves a lot to be desired, but it has all my favorite characters and that’s just enough of a reason for me to continue to watch it. If you’re familiar with the show then you know that Granny of “Little Red Riding Hood” fame owns a diner (and that she’s, well, kind of awesome).
So in honor of the grandmother who’s a bit more spice than she is nice, I decided to make her famous lasagna–with a bit of a kick.
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 10 ounces mild Italian sausage
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp chopped yellow onions
- 4.5 ounces lasagna pasta (about 8-10 pasta sheets), cooked
- 23 ounces tomato sauce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp basil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 15-17 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used Sargento’s 6 Cheese Italian), divided
- 3-4 slices of pepperjack cheese, shredded
- 1 egg or 1-2 tsps olive oil
- Combine ground beef, Italian sausage, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and yellow onions in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink and is cooked throughout. Reduce to medium heat.
- Combine all ingredients listed under sauce in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with lid and cook over low heat for at least 3-5 minutes.
- Combine garlic and 2 tbsps of oil in a small skillet. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic is aromatic. Add to sauce mixture and stir. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes
- Boil lasagna pasta per package instructions (or per preferred level of tenderness). Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Add sauce mixture to meat mixture. Stir and reduce to a simmer (at least 5 minutes).
- Combine ricotta, 1 cup of 6 Cheese Italian (or cheese of choice), and one egg or olive oil in a small bowl.
- If desired, lightly butter a 9×13 inch glass dish (otherwise, spray with nonstick spray or line with foil). Layer bottom of the dish with lasagna pasta.
- Top with layer of cheese mixture and then top with meat. Add another layer of pasta. Add another layer of cheese. Layer on meat.
- Top with remaining cup of 6 Cheese Italian. Shred (i.e. tear) pepperjack cheese on top of 6 Italian cheese.
- Bake on 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked throughout. Serve with garlic bread.
Note: For an extra kick, use spicy Italian sausage and up the red pepper flakes by another tablespoon.
Now then, who wants to eat seconds?