***Disclosure: I have partnered with Red Gold and New Creative Media to bring you this post. I received complimentary product to facilitate my recipe. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
I have to admit, when it comes to lasagna, Garfield the cat has nothing on me. Lasagna is one of my all time favorite dishes to make, especially since it allows for a lot of creative cooking. Lasagna is totally versatile, and there are plenty of ways to make it your own. Some of my favorite lasagna dishes are a Chicken Florentine Lasagna, Cajun Chicken Lasagna with Andouille sausage and red peppers, and of course, there's my Grandma's lasagna. Her recipe is very basic, but it also has a lot of memories attached to it, so it's my all time favorite.
Recently, I was browsing the Red Gold website and was inspired by their collection of lasagna recipes. I decided to put my own twist on a basic lasagna recipe. What makes my new lasagna recipe different? Well, rather than using my normal meat sauce, I decided to switch things up a bit by making a meaty Arrabbiata sauce. (Arrabbiata means "angry peppers" in Italian, but trust me...There is nothing angry about this dish. Unless it's the anger that is experienced when you realize your teen snuck the last bit of lasagna from the pan in the middle of the night. True story.
Seriously, though, doesn't this look amazing? I am a cheese lover, so I made sure to add plenty of cheese to the top to have an ooey, gooey, almost sinful dining experience.
But like I said, the secret to this lasagna recipe is in the sauce. I make my sauce from scratch and let it simmer for several hours, allowing the flavors of the meats, tomatoes, peppers and fresh herbs to marry beautifully. It was maddening to have to wait all day to enjoy this flavorful sauce. I actually kept running to the kitchen to have another taste. You know, in case I missed something or needed to tweak it some more. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, folks!
Once my sauce was done after long, agonizing hours spent smelling the savory aroma, it was time to assemble my lasagna. I started off with a layer of my meaty Arrabbiata sauce, followed by lasagna noodles, my special Ricotta blend, and then some freshly grated Mozzarella cheese. These layers repeat until your pan is full or you run out of stuff. Just make sure you reserve some sauce and cheese for the top! You want the bubbly, cheesy goodness to be the first thing you see when it comes out of the hot oven.
As my lasagna cooked, I prepared some simple but tasty sides. My husband even stopped and grabbed a bottle of wine to enjoy with our Italian feast.
We paired our lasagna with some crisp, buttery garlic bread. You know no Italian meal is complete without some delicious garlic bread! I just bought a frozen loaf at the grocery store and added some additional minced garlic and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
I also whipped up a quick Caesar salad to go with our meal. I used organic Romaine lettuce and added some shaved carrots and radishes for some added texture and crunch. I also made some homemade butter garlic croutons and a homemade Caesar dressing. Oh, and of course I added plenty of cheese, too! (If you can't tell, I am a HUGE fan of cheese. Is there a 12-step program for cheese addicts?)
Once the lasagna was done baking to perfection and had cooled to a temperature lower than that of molten lava, it was time to dig in. As you can see, this lasagna slices beautifully and doesn't fall apart into a big gooey mess when you try to serve it. The layers are well-defined and packed full of authentic Italian flavors.
Our meal was a huge success...Well, almost. My husband is a weirdo and doesn't eat anything with tomato based sauces. So when I make things like spaghetti, lasagna, or even chili, he won't eat them. He did take a "no thank you bite" and did say that for lasagna, it was pretty good. Then he rushed off to the kitchen to make himself some frozen fish sticks. You win some, you lose some, I suppose. My feelings weren't hurt because I already knew he wouldn't like it.
The kids, however, were a completely different story altogether. They devoured it like a pack of starving hyenas. My preschoolers each ate a whole piece, which was surprising because they usually have bird-like eating habits. My teen was a human garbage disposal, as usual. He had 3 slices at dinner, and then proceeded to finish off the pan the next day. Luckily this is one of those recipes that tastes just as delicious if not even more so the next day!
But the best part of our #LovingLasagna experience was getting to enjoy a restaurant quality meal together as a family. Okay, so Dan's icky fish sticks weren't restaurant quality, but the rest of the meal was. I loved preparing it, and my family definitely loved eating it.
Okay, so I know you probably want the recipe so you can try this out for yourselves. I am a nice person and I love sharing, so here ya go! Enjoy!
The Recipe :
Does your family love lasagna? What are your favorite spins on this classic dinner time favorite? I'd love to hear about it!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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