Friday, June 3, 2011

Nana’s Meatball Lasagna

Nana’s Meatball Lasagna | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
Photos Courtesy of Rufus blog!

Nana’s Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles
1 quart marinara sauce
20 meatballs the size of jaw breakers
24 ounces ricotta
1 egg
½ cup grated Romano
1 lb fresh mozzarella shredded
10 basil leaves torn into small pieces

Dump ricotta into a large bowl. Add the egg, ¼ cup Romano, and ¼ of the basil leaves. Mix until egg is completely incorporated with cheese and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Place meatballs on a large tray and bake at 365 degrees until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Set aside. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling salted water until halfway cooked. The noodles need to be soft enough to handle, but still raw enough to keep from overcooking in the end. In a large baking dish, at least 9×13, assemble the lasagna in this order. Before you begin divide the noodles into three equal batches. Use any broken noodles for the first layer. Spread a layer of sauce in the pan and the first batch of noodles on top. Spread out ½ the ricotta evenly over noodles and dust with Romano and some basil. Space out 10 meatballs in a line of three then two then three then two across pan. Cover with a layer of shredded mozzarella. Spoon more marinara over and repeat with second layer of noodles. Spread remaining ricotta over noodles and use it to hold the lasagna together. Dust with more Romano and basil leaves. Take remaining 10 meatballs and space them into the dimples created by the bottom layer (two then three then two then two). Cover with more mozzarella and then spoon more marinara on top. Place the final layer of noodles on top, spoon the remaining sauce over them and then cover with a heavy layer of mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 365 degrees or until cooked through. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more to brown cheese on top. Remove pan from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.

for the Marinara Sauce:

Benenati Marinara Sauce
5 24 ounce cans of Hunts whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with enough warm water to be the consistency of tomato soup
6 medium cloves garlic finely minced
1 teaspoon sugar
4 basil leaves
1 cup red wine
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot (at least six quarts). Add garlic and turn heat down to a low simmer. Stir constantly until garlic softens and starts to look clear. Do not allow garlic to brown. Add tomato paste mixture and stir to incorporate. Bring heat to high and cook till sauce bubbles and thickens. Add all tomatoes and leave the heat on high. Stir and then crush tomatoes. Don’t worry the sauce will be cool at first. Once crushed, tear basil leaves into small pieces and add to sauce along with sugar and wine. Mix and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover pot partially with lid. Cook stirring every five to 10 minutes for three hours or until thick. Do not let sauce stick to bottom of pot. This is base marinara sauce. It can be frozen for future uses or meat and vegetables can now be added to make any number of Italian dishes.

for the Meatballs:

Benenati Meatballs
  • ½ lb ground beef (or veal)
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/8 cup red wine
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • Breadcrumbs as needed
  • Salt and pepper
Mix everything together. Add breadcrumbs until the mash turns into a thick loaf. Take meat and pack into balls. The size is up to the cook. Brown each in oil and add to simmering marinara an hour before taking off the stove.
Many to| Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide!

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Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
I got a confession to make. I am food addict, over-indulgent! I crave for anything especially sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, strawberries, halo-halo, leche flan, banana Q, breads, pasta, Nasi Goreng....tell me what you got in your fridge ;-D. Thank heavens for I got my mum's genes, I can gain and lose pounds that easy and quick. I am here to share with you my food recipe collection (almost forgotten in a corner of my room) and search for new, exciting recipes, meet good people, and discover more about the world of baking. I am no professional baker or chef (just a wanna-be for now) but we'll get there in time. In sha Allah. Afterall, DREAMS just got to start somewhere, and it starts right here, right now! Meantime enjoy this food journey with me among other stuff....amigos to the kitchen! [Thank you for visiting my blog,you're always welcome to come by! Feel free to dig deep into the posts, much treasures there. And leave your comments, I'd appreciate your words....] [P.S. Borrowed articles/photos can be deleted anytime, please advise.Thank you.]

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