Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Dinner - week 3

This is an all time favorite. But I am picky and I love cheese so this recipe calls for a lot of it! It is totally up to you how much you want to put in but if you decide to stick with the recipe - I guarantee you won't be sorry!

Meatball Lasagna

Lasagna Noodles:

1. Cook 11 pieces of lasagna noodles according to package directions. You can leave it a little al dente for the baking process. Set aside. You only need 9 but just in case a noodle or two break or fall apart, you will have extra.

For the meatballs:

1 lb pork, beef, veal ground meat combo
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan flavor bread crumbs (or plain)
1/4 cup shredded or powdered parmesan cheese
sprinkling of salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all the ingredients together by hand and form into 1 inch balls
3. Place meatballs on an aluminum foil wrapped cookie tray
4. Bake in oven until light brown (around 15-20 minutes)

For the ricotta filling:

15 oz tub of part skim or whole milk ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 tsp. parsley
sprinkling of salt and pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together in mixer with paddle attachment on low.
2. Set aside.

For the sauce:

32 oz jar (or 1 jar and a half) REALLY GOOD MARINARA SAUCE - I highly recommend RAO'S
1/3 bar cream cheese
2 tsp. sugar

1. Heat sauce on medium heat.
2. Stir in cream cheese and sugar.
3. When cheese melts, add the meatballs. Cover and let simmer on medium low to low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Putting the layers together:

1. In a 9 x 13 pan, line the bottom with sauce (no meatballs).
2. Place 3 pieces of lasagna noodles side by side. Top with meatballs and sauce. Add dollops of ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with Italian cheese and parmesan.
3. Repeat step #2 again.
4. For final layer, place the last 3 pieces of lasagna layers and top only with the sauce. Generously sprinkle with the cheeses.
5. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take off foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese topping is bubbly (but not burned!).