• October 25, 2019

Donna’s Lasagna

Donna’s Lasagna

Donna’s Lasagna 1024 814 Cooking Aboard with Jill

Donna Papanicolas is a good friend of mine here in Newark, Delaware. She and her husband run a nice Greek and Italian restaurant in town called the Mediterranean Grille. When Dave is away flying, from time to time I have enjoyed having a bite to eat in their restaurant before heading over to the movie theater. One time I came in and they were featuring her lasagna. I ordered two servings to take home. Dave and I thought it was the best lasagna we have ever had. Donna’s Lasagna has the best of both worlds as she overlaps not only the noodles but also the mozzarella cheese so the layers are sealed in for a nice cross section when you take a bite. I asked her where she got this recipe and she said it was her Mothers. Her husband, Akillas told me recently that it was Donna’s beautiful hair style and her lasagna that cinched their relationship let alone that Donna’s mother was a special person according to her new son in law. Enjoy this special recipe!

 Two boxes of Lasagna noodles
 1 ½ pounds of organic ground beef (85% lean)
 One pinch sugar
 7 cloves garlic, minced
 1 green pepper, chopped fine
 1 large onion, chopped fine
 4 cans organic crushed tomatoes, 28 ounces each
 One 15 ounce can organic tomato sauce (save the can to add water later)
 2 eggs, lightly beaten
 2 containers Ricotta cheese, 32 ounces each
 1 ½ cups Romano Pecorino, grated
 4 packages sliced mozzarella cheese, (11 slices per package)
 1 tablespoon dry oregano
 6-7 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely
 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped finely
 Salt and Pepper to taste (Donna uses Himalayan salt)

1

2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Boil the lasagna noodles until they start to bend but are still hard in the center (but not done as the lasagna noodles will continue to cook in the oven). Drain the noodles, rinse to cool down and leave in the strainer. Chop the green peppers very fine and set aside.

3

In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef and pour off the fat. Stir in a pinch of sugar. Add in the onions, garlic and green pepper. After the onions are translucent, add the basil and oregano.

4

Stir in the 4 cans of crushed tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce. Using the empty tomato sauce can, add 15 ounces of water to the sauce. Simmer for one hour uncovered and stirring occasionally.

5

In a large bowl, combine the Ricotta and Romano Pecorino cheeses. Add in the eggs and parsley and combine until well mixed. Set aside.

6

In a large deep baking pan, pour a little of the sauce into the bottom of the pan. Use just enough to coat the bottom of the entire pan. There will be two layers making up this lasagna. Lay the noodles down over the sauce overlapping halfway. Layer half of the Ricotta cheese mixture. Layer the mozzarella overlapping by a quarter of an inch. Pour half of the sauce over the mozzarella.

7

Then do tis layering all a second time by placing the noodles down with a half width overlap. Then the remaining Ricotta cheese layer and the mozzarella layer overlapped by ¼ of an inch. Pour the remaining half of the sauce over the mozzarella layer.

8

Bake for about an hour but check around 50 minutes to see if the pasta and sauce are tender. A fork test is my way to see it is tender enough for your liking. This is only because every oven has different heating ranges. Depending on how hungry your crowd is, this can serve 10-12 people and you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

 Two boxes of Lasagna noodles
 1 ½ pounds of organic ground beef (85% lean)
 One pinch sugar
 7 cloves garlic, minced
 1 green pepper, chopped fine
 1 large onion, chopped fine
 4 cans organic crushed tomatoes, 28 ounces each
 One 15 ounce can organic tomato sauce (save the can to add water later)
 2 eggs, lightly beaten
 2 containers Ricotta cheese, 32 ounces each
 1 ½ cups Romano Pecorino, grated
 4 packages sliced mozzarella cheese, (11 slices per package)
 1 tablespoon dry oregano
 6-7 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely
 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped finely
 Salt and Pepper to taste (Donna uses Himalayan salt)

Directions

1

2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Boil the lasagna noodles until they start to bend but are still hard in the center (but not done as the lasagna noodles will continue to cook in the oven). Drain the noodles, rinse to cool down and leave in the strainer. Chop the green peppers very fine and set aside.

3

In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef and pour off the fat. Stir in a pinch of sugar. Add in the onions, garlic and green pepper. After the onions are translucent, add the basil and oregano.

4

Stir in the 4 cans of crushed tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce. Using the empty tomato sauce can, add 15 ounces of water to the sauce. Simmer for one hour uncovered and stirring occasionally.

5

In a large bowl, combine the Ricotta and Romano Pecorino cheeses. Add in the eggs and parsley and combine until well mixed. Set aside.

6

In a large deep baking pan, pour a little of the sauce into the bottom of the pan. Use just enough to coat the bottom of the entire pan. There will be two layers making up this lasagna. Lay the noodles down over the sauce overlapping halfway. Layer half of the Ricotta cheese mixture. Layer the mozzarella overlapping by a quarter of an inch. Pour half of the sauce over the mozzarella.

7

Then do tis layering all a second time by placing the noodles down with a half width overlap. Then the remaining Ricotta cheese layer and the mozzarella layer overlapped by ¼ of an inch. Pour the remaining half of the sauce over the mozzarella layer.

8

Bake for about an hour but check around 50 minutes to see if the pasta and sauce are tender. A fork test is my way to see it is tender enough for your liking. This is only because every oven has different heating ranges. Depending on how hungry your crowd is, this can serve 10-12 people and you won’t be disappointed!

Donna’s Lasagna


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