There is just something special about Sunday night dinner. This is a time where we all gather around the table and have classic home cooked meal together before we begin to prepare for the busy week ahead.  We enjoy casual conversations without the distractions of television, cell phones and text messages. Although just like every other family, occasionally we have to remind one of the kids that texting under the table does needs to wait until we are finished eating.

Layers of our Superbowl Sunday Lasagna
Layers of our Superbowl Sunday Lasagna

But there is even something more special about Superbowl Sunday in our family.  It isn’t so much about the actual game, but the food that is prepared every year on this day.  It is our tradition to spend the morning making homemade Lasagna – from the sauce to the noodles. We then bake it and have it ready to eat by game time.

The tradition originated as a typical Sunday dinner menu choice. However, since we happened to make it on Superbowl Sunday many years ago, we decided to make it an annual event. Now everyone looks forward to Superbowl Sunday – and the only thing that could make it better is if our favorite team happens to be playing that day! (Nope, not this year….)

Classic Cheesy Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients:

Cooking peppers and onions in a large dutch oven
Cooking peppers and onions in a large dutch oven
Move peppers and onions over to the side -add oil and chicken
Move peppers and onions over to the side -add oil and chicken
We use our canned tomatoes from the summer's garden.
We use our canned tomatoes from the summer’s garden.
Simmer for 2-3 hours until thickened
Simmer for 2-3 hours until thickened
Sauce is thickened - remove bay leaf before assembling the lasagna
Sauce is thickened – remove bay leaf before assembling the lasagna
Using our mixer and dough hook we make the noodle dough
Using our mixer and dough hook we make the noodle dough
If needed, add a teaspoon of water at a time to get the dough to form a ball
If needed, add a teaspoon of water at a time to get the dough to form a ball
Divide dough into 4 equal sections
Divide dough into 4 equal sections
Make roux by whisking together butter and flour
Make roux by whisking together butter and flour
Next whisk in the milk - stirring constantly
Next whisk in the milk – stirring constantly
Shredded Parmesan cheese in our food processor
Shredded Parmesan cheese in our food processor
Add a base layer of red sauce to the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan
Add a base layer of red sauce to the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan
Roll dough through a pasta maker several times to make lasagna noodles
Roll dough through a pasta maker several times to make lasagna noodles
Layering the sauces and noodles.
Layering the sauces and noodles.
Top layer of cheese - can you ever have too much cheese?
Top layer of cheese – can you ever have too much cheese?
Let lasagna sit for 15-20 minutes after you remove it from the oven
Let lasagna sit for 15-20 minutes after you remove it from the oven

Pasta (or use 1 pound of cooked dried lasagna noodles)
2 1/2 cups Flour
4 Eggs
Water

Lasagna
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 red pepper, diced
1 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
1 cup milk

Béchamel Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups provolone cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions:

1. In a heavy bottomed pot heat on medium – add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Push the veggies off to the side of the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the center of the pan and crumble in the ground sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8 minutes.

3. Add oregano, basil, parsley and thyme. Cook another minute.

4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 cups water, 1 cup milk, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot. Cover the pot and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2-3 hours. **Remove the lid after 2 hours and let simmer until thickened.

5. Discard the bay leaf, season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

**You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days or freeze for later use.

6. When you are ready to assemble the lasagna, make the pasta dough. To make the dough using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook  add the flour and eggs to the bowl. (*If you prefer to make it the old-fashioned way – see our post on how to make pasta by hand: Making Home Made Pasta). Knead the dough on medium speed until the dough comes together and forms a ball. If your dough seems too dry add water a teaspoon at a time, being careful not to add too much water. I typically add 3 teaspoons of water. The dough should be moist, but not too sticky. Divide the dough into four balls, flour the outside of each ball and place each in an individual sandwich bag. Set aside.

7. To make the Béchamel Sauce. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until boiling, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk in a steady stream. Add the nutmeg and reduce heat to simmer for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, stir in provolone and parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

9. Spoon a little of the red sauce over the bottom of the dish. Grab 1 ball of pasta dough and flatten the dough. Lightly dust the dough with flour, brushing off excess. Set a pasta machine to the widest setting; run the dough through. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter, then run it through again, short end first. Run it through 2 more times, dusting with flour if it seems too sticky. Now switch to the 2nd setting and roll all the dough sheets through the machine again. Switch to the 3rd setting and roll the sheets through again. Switch to the 4th setting and roll the sheets through again. Now switch to the 5th setting and roll the sheet through the machine one last time. Although machines vary, I find I like the 5th setting for lasagna sheets. When you see your hand through the pasta sheet, it’s thin enough to cut.

10. Cut the sheet of dough to fit inside your dish. I can normally get 2 long and wide noodles and enough extra dough on the ends to fully make one layer of pasta to cover the bottom of the pan.

11. Spoon 1/2 of the remaining red sauce over the noodles. Drizzle 1/3 of the Béchamel sauce on top of that.

12. Take another ball of pasta dough ball and roll it out just as you did above. Layer the pasta over the Béchamel. Now add the remaining red sauce and another 1/3 of the Béchamel.

13. Roll out another ball of dough and layer the pasta. Add 3/4 cup of provolone cheese and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta.

14. Roll out the final ball of dough and layer it over the cheese layer. Pour the remaining Béchamel over the noodles and then sprinkle with the remaining provolone and mozzarella cheese.

15. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna.

**You can refrigerate the lasagna for up to 3 days or freeze.

16. Bake, covered for 1 hour and then uncovered for 15 minutes to brown. Let stand for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

**If your lasagna was cold,  bake, covered for 1 hour, 20 minutes and then uncovered for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim

Classic Lasagna

Ingredients

Pasta (or use 1 pound of cooked dried lasagna noodles)

  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • Water

Lasagna

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk

Béchamel Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups provolone cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot heat on medium - add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Push the veggies off to the side of the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the center of the pan and crumble in the ground sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, basil, parsley and thyme. Cook another minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 cups water, 1 cup milk, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot. Cover the pot and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2-3 hours. **Remove the lid after 2 hours and let simmer until thickened.
  5. Discard the bay leaf, season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  6. When you are ready to assemble the lasagna, make the pasta dough. To make the dough using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook add the flour and eggs to the bowl. (*If you prefer to make it the old-fashioned way - see our post on how to make pasta by hand: Making Home Made Pasta). Knead the dough on medium speed until the dough comes together and forms a ball. If your dough seems too dry add water a teaspoon at a time, being careful not to add too much water. I typically add 3 teaspoons of water. The dough should be moist, but not too sticky. Divide the dough into four balls, flour the outside of each ball and place each in an individual sandwich bag. Set aside.
  7. To make the Béchamel Sauce. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until boiling, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk in a steady stream. Add the nutmeg and reduce heat to simmer for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, stir in provolone and parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  9. Spoon a little of the red sauce over the bottom of the dish.
  10. Grab 1 ball of pasta dough and flatten the dough. Lightly dust the dough with flour, brushing off excess. Set a pasta machine to the widest setting; run the dough through. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter, then run it through again, short end first. Run it through 2 more times, dusting with flour if it seems too sticky. Now switch to the 2nd setting and roll all the dough sheets through the machine again. Switch to the 3rd setting and roll the sheets through again. Switch to the 4th setting and roll the sheets through again. Now switch to the 5th setting and roll the sheet through the machine one last time. Although machines vary, I find I like the 5th setting for lasagna sheets. When you see your hand through the pasta sheet, it's thin enough to cut the sheet of dough to fit inside your dish. I can normally get 2 long and wide noodles and enough extra dough on the ends to fully make one layer of pasta to cover the bottom of the pan.
  11. Spoon 1/2 of the remaining red sauce over the noodles. Drizzle 1/3 of the Béchamel sauce on top of that.
  12. Take another ball of pasta dough ball and roll it out just as you did above. Layer the pasta over the Béchamel. Now add the remaining red sauce and another 1/3 of the Béchamel.
  13. Roll out another ball of dough and layer the pasta. Add 3/4 cup of provolone cheese and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta.
  14. Roll out the final ball of dough and layer it over the cheese layer. Pour the remaining Béchamel over the noodles and then sprinkle with the remaining provolone and mozzarella cheese.
  15. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna.
  16. Bake, covered for 1 hour and then uncovered for 15 minutes to brown. Let stand for 15-20 minutes before slicing.
  17. If your lasagna was cold, bake, covered for 1 hour, 20 minutes and then uncovered for 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

 

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