It was Christmas Potluck time at the martial arts school where my son takes Kung Fu. He really wanted to go, but I was too busy to cook anything for him to take, plus I wasn’t even going to go myself. I told him he could go if he would make something himself to take. I didn’t think it was fair to send a
bottomless pit teenage boy to scarf up everybody else’s food without bringing anything to share! He chose lasagne even after I told him the sauce takes a half hour to simmer and then it still has to bake almost an hour. He loves lasagne.
Being a homeschool mom I grabbed the teaching moment. I handed him the recipe and told him to look and see what we already had and then make a shopping list. Then I took him to Publix and made him shop. He’s 16 and the time when he is out on his own is drawing nearer and nearer no matter how much I don’t want it to come. I want him to be self-sufficient so I’ve taught him how to sort laundry and use the washing machine. I’ve had him with me in the kitchen since he was big enough to pull up a stool and stand next to me at the counter. He’s been cooking independently since he was six. He’s learning to drive, to balance a checkbook and manage a savings account. He can operate the vacuum, wash dishes, and clean the bathroom, mow the lawn, run the string trimmer and build a compost pile. Planning a menu, grocery shopping and cooking from scratch to share with others is something else grownups need to be able to do. He jumped into the project happily.
Shopping, prepping the ingredients and making the sauce were all easy, he only needed a little help when it came to actual assembly of the layers. One of my tricks is to only cook the lasagne noodles halfway so they are pliable but they don’t fall apart when you pick them up. They continue to cook inside the casserole during baking so you don’t end up with crunchy pasta. It also takes a little experience knowing how much to use in each layer so you don’t end up with something leftover when it’s all finished, or run out of something before you’re done.
So here’s the recipe for my lasagne. I’ve been making it since I was 16. I’m glad to pass the torch along to my son. I have fond memories of making this lasagne and sharing it with my own friends and family; I hope he will build some memories sharing meals with his own friends and family, too.
1 lb grassfed ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tblsp olive oil, divided use
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
2 6oz cans tomato paste
2 cups filtered water
1 Tblsp chopped parsley
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp honey
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
8 oz lasagne noodles
1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
8 oz mozarella, shredded
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
In a large, heavy pan brown the ground beef and onion in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, honey, garlic, pepper, oregano and Italian seasoning. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the lasagne noodles for about half the time as directed adding the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the cooking water to keep them from sticking together. Drain.
In a 9×13 casserole pan spread 1 cup of the sauce. Alternate layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan – ending with sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling. Allow to stand 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
yield: 8 servings
- 1 lb grassfed ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 6oz cans tomato paste
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 oz lasagne noodles
- 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to a large heavy pan over medium heat.
- Brown the ground beef and onion.
- Add the dice tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, honey, garlic, pepper, oregano and Italian seasoning.
- Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Cook the lasagne noodles for half the time as directed, adding the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the cooking water to keep the pasta from sticking together.
- Drain the pasta.
- Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan.
- Alternate layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan - ending with sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.
- Allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
Do you have teens? How are you preparing them for living on their own? Do they like to cook? Share your stories with us here or come leave a reply on Facebook.
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