The Hopeless Lasagna
Erika Monroe-Williams, founder of the popular food and lifestyle brand TheHopelessHousewife.com recently showed off her cooking chops on ABC’s primetime cooking competition show, The Taste, where she competed on Nigella Lawson’s team. Erika is truly the hostess with the most-ess, helping people everywhere conquer their kitchen and party planning challenges with simple yet spectacular recipes and party ideas. Erika’s signature cooking style is creating delicious recipes that put a new spin on classic dishes while making sure everything is easy enough for even the most cooking-challenged! A self-taught chef, this multi-tasking mother and former news anchor also just finished her first cookbook to be released Fall 2013.
Today she shares her recipe for The Hopeless Lasagna.
For the tomato sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic clove, smashed then minced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 28 ounce can peeled and crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups hot water
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
For the lasagna:
1 pound lasagna noodles (no-cook)
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 garlic clove, smashed then minced
1 3/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded, plus more for topping
Make the sauce:
Heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Do not allow garlic to burn.
Add the beef and pork to pan and cook through. Drain fat.
Add the tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Add the hot water, stir well, and let the mixture come to a soft boil.
Add the seasonings, stir until they are completely blended, and let the sauce simmer while you prepare the lasagna. Or, if you wish, the sauce may be made as much as a day or two in advance and refrigerated.
Prepare the lasagna:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, garlic, 3/4 cup of the grated cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
In a 9×13 inch baking dish, pour 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Place the lasagna noodles over the sauce in a single layer. Top with 1 cup tomato sauce. Spread one third of the ricotta mixture in small clumps across the noodles, reaching the edges of the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese on the top. Repeat with layering the noodles, sauce, ricotta and cheese until ingredients are gone, finishing with the tomato sauce and topping it with the grated parmesan cheese.
Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes.