Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Lasagna of Shame

SO. Let's start right out with my most embarrassing culinary secret. Should you ever think while reading this blog what a food snob I am, you may refer back to this entry and remember my shameful secret. It's actually a secret my husband’s side of the family has been keeping for years but I am sooooo glad they introduced it to me!

Are you ready?

This lasagna contains:
Tomato paste
Ground beef
Lasagna noodles

See? It's all normal and fine, right?
Onion, garlic, oregano, and parsley
Can tomatoes

"I'm sorry? What? I didn't quite catch that last ingredient, could you speak up please?"

Oh, alright. VEL-VEE-TA!

Wait! Don't leave! Come back, come back.

No one who has ever tasted it has been able to outright guess the secret ingredient. Trust me. It's good and I AM a food snob :)

So I urge you to be open-minded and give it a try. Closing the curtains so your neighbors don't see is optional.

Velveeta Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced (1/2 tsp. of the pre-chopped jar stuff)
2 Tbls. olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped up canned tomato (I use the petite diced because the little people are not about chunks in their food)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbls. Parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup water
9 lasagna noodles
2/3 lb. (12 oz.) sliced mozzarella
6 Tbls. Parmesan
2/3 lb. Velveeta (12 oz.), sliced (I use the slices or you can cut them from the big block of Velveeta but I don't recommend the shredded. It doesn't have the same melty goodness)

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in olive oil in large saucepan; add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and lay in single layers until dry.* Put a little sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan to prevent noodles from sticking. Add 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the sauce, 1/2 of the mozzarella, 2 Tbls. Parmesan, and 1/2 the Velveeta. Repeat layers. Cover with remaining sauce and Parmesan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*I never boil noodles because that is just one more damn pot I have to wash. I either use no boil noodles and make this a day ahead or I put the noodles in my Pyrex dish and pour boiling water over them and let them sit while I make the sauce. Then I drain the noodles, blot them dry, and start assembling in the same dish. I know some people like the noodles fully cooked before baking, so it is up to you.

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