This morning I had the pleasure of presenting a nice earthy lasagna on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Kerän Sanders. Traditional Italian lasagna does not have beef but rather a mixture of ground veal and ground pork. It is also not made with ricotta or cottage cheeses. Therefore, these are Canadian versions of lasagna, one with ground elk and one with beef and ground pork. You could also make it with all beef if you would like to leave out pork.
(Elk Lasagna/Photo by Karen)
Karen's Canadian Lasagna
1 pkg lasagna noodles (or make fresh pasta)
2 lbs ground elk
1 tbs olive oil
8 large oven roasted tomatoes or large can of tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2 tbs dried)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried chilies (optional)
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 - 1 cup red wine
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 500 ml package ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large saucepot, brown ground meat in olive oil over medium high heat. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to pot and slowly brown onions. Then add tomatoes (with water or juice), spices, roasted garlic, brown sugar and red wine. Purée sauce and add dried porcini mushrooms and meat back to the sauce. Simmer until well incorporated.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.
Classic Canadian Lasagna
1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles (can use oven-ready variety and skip boiling)
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound lean ground beef (*Can use only beef, if desired)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup minced onion
1/8 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound small curd cottage cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
2. Place pork and beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, parsley, garlic, oregano, onion, sugar, basil and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
4. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the cheese mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.