14 December, 2009  |   9 Comments

Recipe: Helen Jane’s 12 Lb. Lasagna

Oh, this luxurious leave.
Oh, this luxurious leave.
James and I have had a glorious week of care taking. He’s taking care of me taking care of Nora Lea taking care of Dottie and we’re all taking care of each other.

Changing time

Take. Care.
Just take it.

This extra set of hands, reminding me to sit down, rest up, stop it, and to put her down is the most care taken with me in years.

Even better, our smart and talented friend April (hey! you should totally hire her to help you with your marketing!) set up a dinner drive. She did this for Nora Lea’s arrival too, organized a spreadsheet of folks to drop dinner off at our house a few times a week during the first months of baby.

Are you broke and looking for a baby shower gift?
Organize a meal drive for the new parents, they will kiss your cheeks with gratitude.

I’ve been thinking a bit about new resolutions with this new baby.
Take. Care.
That’s a big one.

Take. Care.
Asking for help and not being afraid to accept it.

So what are we eating in the meantime?
Freezer food, that food I already prepared.

This is my Lasagna recipe, it could be considered a lot of work, but I’ve made it so much that it’s second nature by now.
Hopefully, it will become second nature to you too.

Helen Jane’s 12 Pound Lasagna Recipe

3 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground beef
½ pound ground Italian sausage
4 cloves worth of minced garlic
1 large onion chopped small
3 stalks celery chopped small
1 red bell pepper chopped small
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
1 14 ounce can tomato paste or two of the wee ones
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 package button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper
1 lb mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
2 pints Ricotta Cheese

Heat 2T of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery.
After about 3 minutes, add the chopped red bell pepper.
Saute for another 3 minutes, then add both succulent meats (the ground beef and the sausage) to the pan in tiny chunks.
Stir to break up the chunks when browning.
When the meat is browned, drain the extra fat off the pan into a can or bowl or sink or something.

Hooray! We’re on our way!

Add the garlic to the drained meatonionpeppercelery mixture.
Add the tomato sauce, paste and tomatoes.
Add the basil, oregano and parsley.
Add the salt and pepper.

Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the brown sugar.

Simmer for 40 minutes — this part can go on for ages.
(I’ve been known to leave it there on low for hours if I have other things going on.)
Add the mushrooms and simmer 10 more minutes.

Assembly! Assembly!

Start with the sauce.
Layer the sauce, ricotta blobs, mozzarella (yes! yes!), Parmesan and then the dry pasta noodles over and over until you’re out of any of the above.
Finish with the sauce on the top.

[Choose your own adventure time]
At this point you can cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze.
[End of lasagna story #1]
Or, you can continue on and bake right away.
[Continue to lasagna story #2]
Preheat oven to 350°.

Sprinkle the sauced top of the lasagna with mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover the pan with a tight sheet of aluminum and bake for 35-40 minutes.
(The pan will be surprisingly heavy so be careful when putting it in the oven.)

Take the pan out of the oven, remove the aluminum foil and increase the heat in the oven to 420°.
Return the pan to the oven to make the top cheese layer golden and brown.

If you’re heating up a frozen lasagna, which is what we’ve been doing, you can bake it off my way.
(I’m not sure how food-safe this is, it just tends to work for us.)

Remove plastic wrap layer from frozen lasagna.
Sprinkle mozzerella cheese on the top of the lasagna.
Put the foil back on the pan.
Place the frozen lasagna in the oven.

Heat oven to 400°
(I don’t preheat, I just bake it, frozen and all.)
Bake for 60-80 minutes.

Serve with a crunchy romaine salad and buttery garlic bread and for a second, you might not feel like you just had a baby a week ago.

Thank you Mrs. Mason

9 thoughts on “Recipe: Helen Jane’s 12 Lb. Lasagna

  1. 1
    JenB says:

    How do we participate in a food drive from thousands of miles away. Ask April. :-). Love to you all. xoxo

  2. 2
    Anne says:

    You make such beautiful babies! I wish I could smell her. Yes, that’s right; I said it. I love that baby-skin smell so much. *weeps with nostalgia*

  3. 3

    BIG smiles for you and your family!!!
    PS. I’ve made your lasagne recipe and it’s the bomb.

  4. 4
    Anne says:

    Keep on enjoying that leave time, Mama and Papa Hearn. And the gorgeous little elf-girls. Hope to see some Christmas pics later this week.

  5. 5

    […] of the fun things to do with that lasagna meat sauce from last week is to add a little water and use it for a meaty pasta sauce. That’s exactly what we had for […]

  6. 6
    April says:

    How was Christmas? I hope you enjoyed the dinners last week. I am not a creative chef, like you.

  7. 7
    Mocha says:

    I was certain that you would add “cute, wee baby toes” to your lasagna recipe.

    Congratulations on making another incredible baby, Helen. You are most blessed to know to Take Care. Well done, momma.

  8. 8

    […] to throw a party in a wee amount of time is to have planned ahead. This means, the last time you made a lasagna, you made […]

  9. 9

    […] I premade 2 of these lasagnas on Saturday, and stuck them in the freezer. Wednesday: This chicken pot pie reminds me of waiting […]

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