Monday, April 4, 2011

Until Graffiato Opens in May

This weekend, Alex and I had our friends Chantal and Richard over for dinner. It was a super fun night filled with lots of food and lots of wine.

Since we all have different eating interests (Chantal is a pescatarian, I have a weak stomach, and Alex is just down right picky), we decided to go with lasagna, three ways. I used by brand new lasagna pan to make a classic meat lasagna, a roasted tomato and mozzarella lasagna, and a spinach and pesto lasagna. Each came out pretty tasty.

So here is the recipe for the first one. Inspired by the supposedly incredible pepperoni sauce, DC's own, Mike Isabella cooked up this week on the Top Chef All Stars finale and my mom's own recipe.

Classic Lasagna with Pepperoni Sauce
Serves 12
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large pinch of red pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cups pepperoni, diced
  • 1/2 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 15oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until tender.

Add the red and green bell pepper and tomatoes, sauté until heated through and the tomatoes are starting to melt.

Now add all of the spices and the red wine.

Add the diced pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and cook the sauce, covered, for another 45 minutes. While the sauce simmers, boil water in a large pot.

When the water boils, add lasagna noodles and cook until al dente. Remove noodles from water, separate and spread out over a piece of parchment. In a small mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, egg, and parsley.

When the sauce finishes cooking, remove from heat. In a blender, puree sauce, in batches, until smooth. In a separate skillet, heat the ground pork and ground beef over medium heat. Sauté until browned.

Return sauce to sauce pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add meat and bring sauce to a simmer.

Butter a 9x13" dish or a lasagna pan. Layer 3 noodles, 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup of sauce. Repeat two more times. Top with a layer of noodles, a layer of sauce, and remainder of mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until top of lasagna is crispy and golden brown.

Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Pose for a picture and serve!


  1. That pan rules. Sounds like a fun night. (ps - too much wine at your house?! never!)

  2. Ha. I know. Weird right.

    Actually, we had to have our little conversation with Chantal and Richard about overstaying. We tried to explain to them that we are classic overstayers. We will keep the night going and going if you let us. We were like, seriously, just leave when you want to. Otherwise we'll be in the kitchen drinking until 4 in the morning and not know what to do with ourselves the next day.

    I miss you and Christopher!!!!!!

  3. I love that you made lasagna 3 ways! I am pulling a Gail and drooling over the pepperoni sauce ;)

  4. I was totally drooling over that pepperoni sauce in last week's finale. Love the idea of adding it to lasagna! Also love that pan.

  5. I seriously want that lasagna pan. Right now. What a brilliant idea for making different varieties or just for portion control.

  6. Erin told me she got her pan at Bed Bath & Beyond, but I've also spotted it at Marshall's, so have at it ladies. Also, Erin- are the other non-meat lasagna recipes available anywhere online? I am going to have to take a stab (or maybe 5) at them.

    Thanks again for such a memorable evening. D.C. is so much better with you and Alex in it.

  7. Ha! They'll be on the blog next week my dear! But in the mean time, I'll just email them to you so you have them.

    So much fun last night drinking Caipirinhas on a roof deck with you. Again soon please! See you on Saturday night at Semra's birthday?

  8. What a cool lasagna pan! Would also be great for quick breads too. Need to get a hold of one!

  9. I have to agree with everyone else, this pan is awesome. You have the best cooking/baking items!