I still wanted to go with homemade pasta, because it really is unmatched. Yes, store-bought works - but if you have the time and can put in the effort, going homemade will take your dish over the top. Lucky for me, I had a little helper this time:
My mommy - visiting from New Hampshire.
Together, we made a pretty awesome, unique roasted red pepper lasagna:
Mmm - doesn't that look good? Check out the full recipe below. If you like what you see, please go to www.smartandfinal.com/LaRomanella2012 and vote for me! If you do, you'll be entered to win one of 8 $50 SmartCash cards! And if you like it so much you want to try it out yourself (or make another Italian favorite) -- you're in luck. Purchase your favorite La Romanella items from Smart & Final, then go to www.smartandfinal.com/LaRomanella2012 and enter the code on your receipt to be entered to win a weekend trip for 2 to one of the most luxurious Italian inspired resorts in Las Vegas!!So - head on over to your local Smart & Final to get your #La Romanella goodies, then visit their Web site to enter your code and vote for my lasagna!
La Romanella Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
(Makes a 9 x 13 pan - enough for 6-8 adults)
Ingredients:For the sauce:
1 Tbsp. La Romanella olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
3 whole La Romanella roasted red peppers (from a 28 oz. can)
2 28-oz. cans La Romanella whole peeled pear tomatoes with basil
1/2 c. red wine (Chianti is my favorite)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c. La Romanella grated Parmesan cheese (+ extra for sprinkling on top)
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
For the homemade noodles (alternatively, buy the no-bake ones at the store):
2 1/2 cups flour3 eggs
Start the sauce first. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add ground beef and brown.
While that's cooking, put 3 roasted red peppers and 1 can of tomatoes (undrained) in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add to browned beef. Pour in remaining whole tomatoes (undrained). Bring to a boil, then stir in 1/2 c. red wine. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer while making noodles (or about 45-60 minutes). Just before you get ready to assemble the lasagna, add chopped basil and salt & pepper to taste.
A nice Chianti is always my secret sauce ingredient!
Mix up the ricotta mixture by stirring together 2 cups ricotta, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and 2 2 Tbsp. parsley flakes. Cover & refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the noodles, put the flour in a large bowl, making a well in the middle.
Add the eggs to the well and scramble them up a bit with a fork. Then starting pulling flour into the eggs with your fork until its fully combined (add a little water if it's dry, a little flour if it's wet).
Cover with a wet towel and let rest 15 minutes. After resting, the dough is ready to roll out. I used my pasta maker, but you can also roll it by hand with a rolling pin. Break off about 1/5th of the dough and run in through your machine (or roll it out with your pin)
To make the lasagna, just cut the fresh sheets of pasta to the size of your pan and use them as you would boxed noodles (no need to cook the pasta first - it will cook when baked). Assemble by layering noodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/4 mozzarella and 1/4 sauce. I made 3 layers with ricotta, then a final layer of noodles topped with sauce and mozzarella. I also sprinkled some Parmesan on top.
Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 40-45 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Cool 10-15 minutes, then cut & enjoy!
This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias #CBias. All recipes and opinions expressed are my own.