Monday, March 14, 2011

Maw Maw's Lasagna

In late honor of my birthday (it was on the 6th), I'm posting one of the traditional birthday dishes from growing up. My grandma would make this for dinner a lot for birthdays because it was one of everyone's favorites! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!

1 box lasagna noodles, cooked according to package
8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese

Sauce Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
4-5 slices deli ham
2 cans tomato paste+ 2 cans water
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Curry
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Thyme
pinch salt
pepper to taste
1 green pepper, chopped and cooked (optional)
1 onion chopped and cooked (optional-you know I hate onion, so of course I leave it out)

**Maw Maw did not use these last two ingredients in her dish once us picky grandchildren were born....and it tastes better without it.**
**The original copy of the recipe does not have measurements for the seasonings. I guessed at it for those of you that like to have numbers, but you'll have to taste and add more if needed. You'll want to go lighter on the curry than anything else because of it's strong flavor**

Gravy Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
a splash of milk

Making the sauce:
1. Brown and drain your beef.
2. Add tomato paste and 2 cans of water. Mix well.
3. Add seasonings to taste. Add onions and peppers if desired.
4. Allow to simmer to mix flavors while preparing the rest.
*Sauce could be made ahead of time to give the flavors time to really blend well. It could also be a time saver for when you're throwing the dish together after work for dinner.

Making the gravy:
1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in the microwave or on the stovetop.
2. Mix 2 tbsp flour in with the butter until no lumps are visible.
3. Add just a touch of milk, stir well.
4. Either microwave for 1 minute or heat over medium heat stirring constantly. (Careful not to scald it!)
5. Stir well, repeat microwave step 1 minute at a time until a thick gravy-like consistency is reached. If using the stove, stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Making the dish:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray your 13x9 dish.
2. Layer noodles in the bottom of the dish, covering entire bottom.
3. Layer 1/3 of the meat sauce on top of the noodles.
4. Tear ham into small pieces. Layer on top of meat sauce.
5. Spread 1/3 of gravy on top of ham.
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of mozz. cheese and parm cheese over the gravy.
7. Repeat layers until materials are gone, ending with cheese on top.
8. Melt 1 tbsp butter. Pour over dish.
9. Bake at 350° for 45 min-1 hourm until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with salad and garlic bread for a complete birthday (or anytime!) dinner!

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