Yasmine Anderson's BFF Lasagna Recipe

Meal and music with a friend (from a safe distance)

The author getting creative with the ingredients

Entertaining, I miss it. Gathering people in my house, everyone talking at once or me just talking over everyone. Setting the table. Laughing for hours while we eat everything on the table. I ache for it at times. After a few glasses of wine one night, this idea came to mind: Why not make a meal and playlist and drop it off with a friend?

We might not be able to dine together, but I can still create a food memory for somebody. Shoot, include the recipe too. Turns out my BFF has an August birthday, so I did it, I made her a meal and playlist. My best girl LOVES lasagna, so I present to you BFF Lasagna.

BFF Lasagna

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. beef
1/2 lb. pork
1 (1/2”) slice of pancetta, chopped
1 box no boil lasagna noodles (Trader Joe’s brand used in this recipe)
5 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup onion
5 cloves garlic, chopped
28 oz. can peeled canned tomatoes
14 oz. can crushed canned tomatoes
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup white wine
1 cup ricotta
2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup grated parm
1 cup mozzarella
1 large ball fresh mozzarella torn into large pieces
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:

In a large sauce pot add 3 tbsp. olive oil, over medium low heat sauté the pancetta until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is slightly crisp.

Add the onion, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, rosemary, and oregano. Sauté until the onion is translucent (5-8 minutes), season with s&p. Remove the ingredients from the pot and set aside.

Next, add the rest of the olive oil to the pan with the beef and pork, season with s&p. Cook over medium high heat until the meat is done. Drain the excess fat from the pan.

Put the sautéed onion and garlic mix in with the meat and stir over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat ingredients. Follow with the wine and reduce the wine by three-quarters. Toss in the tomatoes and stir; season with s&p.

Bring to boil stirring occasionally.

Knock it down to low and let it ride for an hour or a few, checking on the sauce every once in a while. Let the smell take over your home.

Ricotta Mix:

Using a food processor toss the spinach, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, parm, mozz, and 1/2 cup of basil, s&p. Blend until combined and a beautiful color of green. Set aside.

Assemble and Cook:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare your lasagna pan – I used a 6 cup rectangular glass container, 14 x 9. Add a large spoonful of sauce to the bottom of the pan.

Next add 2-3 lasagna noodles (depends on what brand you are using). Top the lasagna sheets with a spoonful or two of the ricotta mix, sauce next, then lasagna sheets. Repeat these steps until you get about an inch from the top of the pan. You want the top layer to be sauce.

Add the fresh mozzarella and chopped fresh basil. Cover your lasagna with a sheet of oiled foil (you don’t want the cheese to stick).

Cook covered for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes. Finish by broiling for 2 minutes to get that cheese bubbling. Pull out your beauty and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before you cut and dish it up.

Give yourself a whopping, Garfield size, portion of lasagna and turn on your BFF Lasagna playlist. Enjoy!


BFF Lasagna Playlist:

You’re My Best Friend – Queen
Lucky Star – Madonna
Count on Me – Bruno Mars
Best Friend – Brandy
Girl – Destiny’s Child
What About Your Friends – TLC
That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder
Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Vacation – The Go-Go’s
Buddy – Willie Nelson
Just a Friend – Biz Markie
We’re Going To Be Friends – The White Stripes
Formation – Beyonce


Check me out: Hear Me Cook

Hear Me Cook was born during the quarantine of 2020. One night, early into the longest months of my life, I was cooking, crying, and listening to music. I thought about how music and food have been a constant creative outlet for me for years. Losing myself in an album while creating a delicious meal sets my mind at ease. Longing for connection during isolation and feeling like the majority of my interactions via the robot in my hand were false, I wanted to write about the real way my brain and body are processing this pandemic. So, Hear Me Cook is now a real thing and like most things in life right now, I focus it on it when my exhausted brain gives me a break.

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