There is just something about a classic lasagna in the winter. So cozy, so warm and so so comforting. With melty layers to meat, cheese, and pasta. Mmmmmm. An honestly, it seems daunting but once you have the pasta sauce made, it is just a matter of layering and popping it into the oven!
And what is better than pairing delicious comfort food with some delicious wine? Yep, this is part of our Collective – Craft Beer Shop Wine Pairing Series! And you know what goes well with some of this heavy, comforting, pasta deliciousness? A good old Cab Sav! Try this out with the Alma de Casa Spanish Monastrell/Cab Sav/Syrah. With it’s full body and cherry/tobacco flavours, it makes this feel like a decadent meal. I was really a huge fan of this wine and definitely went back to get more of it! Not normally the hugest fan of Cab Savs, but this one just got me. A little try, a little earthy and a little fruity – it was great. With just enough tannins to help cut through the rich pasta. Yum!
750g ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs thyme
1 large jar of pasta sauce (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup milk
3 cups shredded mozzarella
350g oven-ready lasagna sheets (or fresh pasta sheets – this will make it soooo fabulously tender it will be amazing, but store bought lasagna sheets will also do fine. Just remember to get the oven-ready ones so you don’t have to pre-cook them!!)
1 cup of dry red wine
** FYI – I used homemade tomato sauce that was made with orange tomatoes, that’s why it doesn’t look like there is any sauce in the picture! But promise it’s there, it just blends in!
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large skillet, saute the beef over medium heat. To help break up the meat into finer pieces, you can 1/8 cup water – this helps to loosen up the fat and break apart the meat, making the individual pieces of beef smaller than if you were to do it without. Sauté until the beef is fully cooked. Add the spices, onions and garlic, and sauté until soft.
Add the red wine, and reduce until there is almost no liquid left. Add the sauce, and stir to coat the meat. Set aside. In a medium size bowl, mix the ricotta and milk together. Set aside.
Spray a 9×13 pan with some non-stick cooking spray (I use canola or olive oil sprays). Now, start to layer your lasagna. Start with placing a third of your meat mixture on the bottom of the dish then add a single-layer of pasta topped with half of the ricotta mixture and 3/4 cup of mozzarella. Repeat (so meat, pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, meat, pasta, ricotta, mozzarella). Top the second layer of cheese with the last third of the meat mixture, a layer of pasta and the remaining mozzarella.
Bake at 375 for 35-40 mins or until the pasta is soft and the top is golden brown. Let sit for 15 mins to cool, then add some parsley for garnish and serve.