My roommate had a craving for pasta this weekend so I thought I’d take advantage of the current break in warm weather to make something warm and comforting.
I started out to make a regular lasagna but was distracted by the nice (and pretty affordable) ground lamb at Fairway. It also happened to be Greek Easter, so I figured a Greek-inspired dish would do the trick.
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 lb ground lamb
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 handful golden raisins
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 16oz can tomato puree
Fresh basil (5 or 6 leaves chiffonade)
Garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste
1 small container part skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
4 oz domestic feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 oz fresh mozzarella
A few handfuls of shaved Parmesan
Fresh Lasagna Noodles
1 Medium glass baking dish
In a large skillet, saute red onion in olive oil until it begins to caramelize. Add ground lamb and brown.
Drain off excess fat and return to medium heat.
Add carrots, raisins, vinegar and cinnamon and stir a few minutes until you can smell the cinnamon. Add tomato puree and seasonings. Turn off heat and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl combine ricotta, oregano, salt, pepper, and egg. Crumble in feta cheese and mix until well blended.
Skim off a bit of tomato sauce and slightly coat the bottom of a baking dish to prevent lasagna noodles from sticking. Arrange one even layer of fresh pasta sheets across the bottom of the dish. Cover with cheese mixture evenly and add a second layer of fresh pasta. Cover with 2/3s of lamb ragu, retaining 1/3 for the top of the dish. Cover ragu with 1 final layer of fresh pasta. Spread remaining 1/3 ragu over top of pasta.
Thinly slice fresh mozzarella and arrange across the top of the dish. Scatter a few whole basil leaves for color and top off with a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (1 hour if refrigerating first). Allow dish to stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 4-6 people
This came out great. As comforting as traditional lasagna with even more flavor. I looked forward to the left overs for the past 2 days.