Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

The Classics: Lasagna

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I can't resist a good lasagna. I've never followed an actual recipe for this comfort food, so it's nearly impossible for me to repeat a favorite. But that's the fun of it. Whatever you have around the kitchen, add it to your lasagna. Seriously. I've added pumpkin puree, eggplant, cottage cheese, goat cheese... maybe it doesn't sound that ridiculous, now that I think about it.

I'm also a little obsessed with trying everything in a cast iron pan. There's something so rustic about pulling a meal out of the oven and placing it on a giant wooden cutting board in the middle of your dinner table. It makes me smile. And that's what makes me weird. I accept that. I have about 5-6 different sizes of cast iron pans, so if there's only two of us eating - I use the small pan. No leftovers. Boom.

As I said, I usually don't follow a recipe for lasagna, but I'm going to share this one with you. I may never make it this way again - simply because I've had it, I want to try a new one next time.

Ooh! But the great thing about this particular recipe, is that you have enough ingredients to freeze a meal. Yeah - more for later.

Three Cheese, Two Meat Lasagna

1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
1 jar marinara
1 box bake-ready lasagna noodles
4+ cups shredded mozzarella
4oz garlic and herb chevre
8oz ricotta
1 egg
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained (so no longer frozen)

1 9-inch cast iron pan
1 bread pan


In a large fry pan on medium heat, brown the ground beef and pork together. Once browned, dump in the jar of marinara and stir.

While meat is browning, combine chevre, ricotta, egg, spinach, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Taste at your own risk (raw egg is involved).

Set meat sauce and cheeses aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, get out your lasagna noodles and place a layer at the bottom of your cast iron pan (this recipe can also be used for a 9x13 pan, or whatever pan you prefer, as long as it's oven safe). It's not going to look pretty, but don't worry - it'll be covered with meat and cheesy goodness. No one will notice - unless you take a picture and blog about it.

Now, spread on a good layer of the cheesy mixture. You might have to use your hands to get it to spread evenly, that's ok - just be sure to wash them.

The meat layer comes next, followed by a layer of shredded mozzarella. Lay down another layer of noodles and go through the motions of layering for about 3-4 layers. *Note - you will have extra filling if using a 9inch cast iron pan. Fill up that bread pan with a mini lasagna, wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil and toss it in the freezer for a later time. Be sure to take off the plastic wrap before baking it though - that could be bad.

Notice that I didn't finish the top with a bunch of shredded mozzarella. That's because you need to bake the lasagna with foil on top for the first 40 minutes. I'd hate for you to lose all of that cheese to the foil. After 40 minutes has passed, take off the foil, layer the top with shredded mozzarella and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top cheese has melted and browned slightly. I'd also recommend placing a cookie sheet on the rack below your lasagna in the oven. Just in case. (I like to put these notes later to see who reads the recipe before starting it). 

Once the final timer goes off, announce that dinner is ready and have that wooden board placed in the middle of your dining room table. This stuff is best served hot and gooey.

What's your favorite way to make or serve lasagna?


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