Lasagne by Garfield

As a kid I would watch the first cartoons with Garfield, but I don't remember much of them. Then, I found the comic books with strips from various years, translated to polish. That was cool. Then, when we got the iPad, we found an app that has every comic strip from Garfield since the very beginning. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Throughout all those years of drawing a fat mean cat and his owner, one thing was sure: that cat loved food. Let's call him a foodini. So his nightly trips to the fridge to say hi to to food are normal. His stealing Jon's food by switching plates- is classic. And his ability to walk through a fresh lasagne is just marvelous. That way nobody want's to eat the lasagne anymore.
Pure genius. But this means Jon can really cook :)
And so, the lasagne.
The first one I made was disgusting. I tried one spoon and it went in the bin.
Second time I decided to experiment a bit around. The problem with lasagne recipes is, that you don't know which one to follow, because you have/don't have all the ingredients. Most famous lasagne recipes comes from the USA, where they get sweet pork italian sausage, whick I can't find here. And mozzarella which is pre-cut and is square-ish. Which mozzarella ever was made square? Americans, I don't get your logic sometimes.
Then there are varieties in recipes from Italy, USA, UK, Poland: beschamel sauce, slices of mozzarella or shredded mozzarella, cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese, parmesan, or yellow gouda
 ( seriously).
Cook the pasta, don't cook the pasta. Go F*(&)k yourself.
This is all very confusing and it makes me want to stop cooking and scream a lot. I hate those kind of different recipes, that just have one thing in common- you're supposed to love it.

I decided to finally go with the "original" edamer/gouda mix cheese, parmesan and ricotta blend.
Without any sweet italian pork sausage, becuase even my Piccolo Italia didn't have it.
And the chase for ricotta cheese was wonderful. Finally, after running around 3 districts I found 1 container of the cheese. Had to do the job. And it did.
Brace yourselves for the magnificent, not-so-original-but-delicious-and-makeable Lasagne!

Type of dish: main
Cost: medium
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 4
Time: 110 min
Preparation time: 40 min
Baking time: 40 min
Cooling time: 30 min ( or you'll cry of a burnt mouth, trust me)
Oven temp: 180C

You'll need:
a super large frying pan, cutting board, sharp knife, spatula, teaspoon, a medium sized baking dish at least 7 cm high, some aluminium foil, medium sized mixing bowl, glass, egg beater.

  • 1kg ground beef. Use the store bought or go to a butcher and ask him to grind some nice beef for you)
  • additional: 1 small carrot
  • additional: 1 small celery stick
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 12-16 lasange noodles ( precooked or cook them al dente)
  • 100gr gouda/edamer, yellow cheese, without holes
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 container/200gr ricotta cheese
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • S&P
  • dried herbs: basil, thyme, oregano ( 1 tbsp of each), sugar, lemon juice
  •  olive oil

Chop up all you have to chop, heat the frying pan, fry the beef until it's brown. Yeah, brown. Add the garlic, onion,and if you decided to use the carrot and celery, you should have added it before the meat turned brown. Like, just after it started to dry up and turn greyish in colour.
Fry that up, add the tomatoes, puree and half of your chopped parsley to the pan, and turn the heat to medium. Let it thicken up. This is what you would also call a basic bolognese sauce. Great for freezing.
In the meantime, crack the egg, ricotta, parsley, a pinch of S&P to the bowl and mix it well with the beater to get a smooth texture. You can lick your fingers, this stuff is good!
Check on your tomato sauce, it should have reduced a bit, mix it every once in a while, this needs to get thick, but not paste thick. When the consistency is thinner than paste, try a bit, add some additional herbs, a lemon shot, sugar pinch and S&P. Taste it. You can add some cayenne pepper if you want to. I certainly did, because food without a hot spicy kick is simply not food to me.
Prep your baking dish. Did you cook your uncooked noodles? If not, you're a bad person and you'll have to wait longer for your yummy dish. Know what you're missing out on. Preheat your oven.
Okay, let's layer:
1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Done.
Put on 3-4 lasagne noodles to cover it up, with no spots peeking.
Now, a layer of the ricotta mixture,
yellow cheese layer,
parmesan layer,
tomato layer,
pasta layer,
ricotta layer,
yellow cheese,
you're out of noodles or ricotta. Hah.

Put aluminium foil on top of the baking dish, just so the foil doesn't touch the lasagne.And foil- shiny side down. We want the lasagne to bake faster.
Get a ziploc bag for the leftover sauce. I'll tell you what to do with it later.
Pop it in the oven, bake for 25-30 min with the foil on, after that time, take the foil off for the next 10-15 min. Lets get the top bubbly and sexy and looking handsome. Or beautiful. You'll still eat it, belive me. Okay, you're done baking after 40 minutes after you put the lasagne in, now turn off the oven, leave to oven closed and think about who you should invite to dinner, or what should you paint next- the ceiling or the walls, and what colour.
Do this kind of thinking for 25 min, paint your nails instead, and start setting the table. Don't call out anyone yet for dinner- do this last minute. Because when you say LASAGNE, everybody's there in 3 seconds flat.
Why, I don't know. I think it's because everybody has a little Garfield in them:)

PS. Oh, and if you have more time on your hands, this is great for pre freezing. Make the lasagne, just don't put it in the oven, but wait till it's cold and pop it in the freezer. Defrost it the night before in the fridge and bake as usual.

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