Happy 2024!!! It’s hard to believe that we are in, what I’d like to call, the “space age”. I mean, did you ever think we would make it to 2024?? Good grief, I still feel like we’re in 1995. (The best years) The 90’s. When all I had to think about were which overalls to wear, play practice, band practice, and puppy chow. Do people even wear overalls anymore???!!
The New Year always gets me in the mood to purge. To start over. Start clean. And it always starts with the exit of the Christmas tree. I always find a way to rearrange a different way, or find places for new things or even a new place for old things. Winter in the Pacific Northwest means, rain, every day… and I mean, EVERY day. So I find myself leaning into cozy pants and fires in the fireplace. Organizing and getting rid of clutter. Drinking red wine instead of white. And planning meals with hearty soups and pastas. I’ve always loved trying new recipes during this time of year, but one of my favorites (and most certainly my husbands) is a recipe I’ve continued to perfect over the years. Lasagna. A spaghetti recipe that I started to tweak 20 years ago… I can do it with my eyes closed. It’s a house favorite and I am so excited to share with you in celebration of the New Year.
Inspired By a Betty Crocker Cookbook
1 Pound of Ground Beef
1 Pound of Italian Sausage
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 (24 Ounce) Can of Whole Tomatoes – I use my own canned tomatoes
1 (15 Ounce) Can of Tomato Sauce – I like the plain sauce without addition seasonings
1 Small can of Tomato Paste
2 TBSP of Parsley
2 Tsp of Basil
2 Tsp of Oregano
1 Tbsp of Honey
½ Tsp of Chili Flakes
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup of Parmesan Cheese + extra for Topping
1 Tbsp of Parsley
Lasagna Noodles – (9) Total so you don’t boil the whole box
Mozzarella Cheese – I LOVE the fresh
Heat a Cast Iron Pan (or skillet) and cook your Ground Beef and Sausage until finely chopped and browned. Once cooked, add in your Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, and Paste. Stir evenly until it reached a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and add in Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Chili Flakes, Salt and Pepper. Cook on Simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Once sauce looks a little thick add in your honey. I could simmer this sauce for as long as 2 hours if you wanted to…. But if you’re short on time, 30 minutes will do. While your Sauce is cooking, Start a pot of boiling water for your lasagna noodles. Boil the noodles to Al Dente. “Til they have a small bite to them” While you bake it in the oven… the noodles will finish cooking.
Mix together your Ricotta Cheese with 1 Egg, Salt, pepper, 1 Tsp Parsley and Parmesan Cheese.
Put aside for Layering.
Once the noodles and sauce are cooked. We can now do the layering.
In a 9X12 Pan, start with the first layer of Noodles, Sauce, Ricotta Cheese, and Mozzarella. Second Layer of Noodles, Sauce, Ricotta Cheese, and Mozzarella. Third Layer (And Last) Noodles, Sauce, Ricotta Cheese and Mozzarella.
Cover with Foil and bake at 350 Degree for 45 Minutes. Pull Foil Off for the remaining 15 minutes.
I remember making this meal for my husband for the first time… and he said, “it’s going to be hard to be beat my mom’s! So it better be good!” (I think he married me for it 😊 ) It’s a Sunday meal that lasts all week for us… And I hope it will do the same for you!
After a shift in my original ideal pairing for this recipe, the World told me I had to change the tune to this post. And although I was very disappointed, it drew me to another song that I think might be more fitting. I've recently discovered the works of a new(er) artist that has caught my ear on one or more occasions. His newest album I have mildly obsessed about...Noah Kahan and his album Stick Season has me reeling most often in the kitchen. His song, Northern Attitude is so incredible. And I absolutely LOVE the version when he sings with Hozier. Its such a perfect space for contemplative, "Grounding" moments in the winter. Eating lasagna and wearing your overalls. So cheers to this beautiful song.
This year I wasn’t too eager to make any “New Years Resolutions”… I feel as a mom, a parent… I already do a lot. And it felt mildly exhausting to give myself a list that I more than likely won’t achieve. I ask a lot of myself most days. And I feel disappointed in myself each year when I don’t achieve more than I wanted to… I hate feeling like I didn’t do enough, when actually… I did a lot. I do a lot. My sister is a Chinese Medicine doctor… and recently she taught me that in Chinese medicine, they believe in a common principle called “Grounding” in the winter. Meaning, in the winter, we rest. We use this time to cleanse, rest, and prepare for the new life of the spring. And I love that. I love the idea of Grounding… and I also love the idea of focusing on each moment. Not the whole year. So, that being said, I am going to wear my (new) overalls all winter, cozy up and listen to Noah Kahan's Song and eat my lasagna in complete bliss. And I hope you will too.
Happiest of New Years to you all. 2024 is going to be wonderful.