December 11, 2011

Lasagna for Christmas Eve!

Let your spirit take flight this holiday season!

"Here comes I, Father Christmas am I, welcome - or welcome not; I hope olde Father Christmas, will never be forgot... Christmas comes but once a year when it comes it brings good cheer; With a pocket full of money and a cellar full of beer, Roast beef, plum pudding and mince pie, Who likes them better than I?" ~from an ancient Mummer's play~ (Centuries ago, "Mummers", or masked buffoons, would stroll the village streets while chanting ballads and ancient carols.)

Classic Lasagna with Mozzarella-stuffed Garlic Rolls

Estelle's Classic Lasagna
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 (24-oz.) jars of marinara (Estelle's uses Mario Batalli)
1 (32-oz.) container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 package (12 sheets) no-boil lasagna noodles

Mozzarella-Stuffed Garlic Rolls
1 store-bought pizza dough, cut into 20 1-inch pieces
6 mozzarella cheese sticks, cut into 20 1/2-inch pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. dried oregano
Parmesan cheese, grated (to sprinkle on top)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. To prepare the lasagna, start by making the meat sauce. Combine the sausage and ground beef in a large skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until brown. Add one jar of the marinara to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Next, prepare the cheese mixture and combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Spread half of the remaining jar of marinara on the bottom of the baking dish ( 13-inch x 9-inch). Lay four of the lasagna noodles over the marinara and spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Next, spread half of the meat sauce over the cheese mixture and sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the meat sauce. Repeat the layers one more time. Lay the four remaining lasagna noodles over the final layer and spread the rest of the marinara over the noodles. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the lasagna from the oven.

While the lasagna stands (for at least 15 minutes), prepare the garlic rolls.

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and lightly spray your  cookie sheet with cooking spray. In small saucepan over medium-heat, melt the butter with the garlic and oregano.
On a lightly floured surface, press the 1-inch dough pieces out into a thin circle; it should be 3-inches wide. Place a piece of mozzarella cheese in the center (or 1 Tbsp. if using shredded) and fold up the dough around the cheese. Press the edges together until completely sealed. Place the rolls seam-side down on the lid or cookie sheet; they should just barely touch. Then, bush the rolls with half of the garlic and melted butter mixture. Reserve the rest. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Brush the remaining butter mixture over the top of the rolls immediately after removing them from the oven. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. I love your thoughts! We have spaghetti on Christmas Eve, a tradition that started when the girls were little and we'd have a hurried dinner before Christmas Eve service. Now they cherish our simple spaghetti meal... memories!


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