Deb's lasagna with basil and piquins

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
1½ pounds Ground sirloin
\N \N Fresh picked Firecracker Piquin chiles to taste; (4 is good starting point)
1 \N 26-ounce jar Barilla Marinara sauce; (or any thick marinara sauce)
1½ cup Water
½ cup Chopped fresh basil; (omit or use flat-leafed parsley if fresh basil is not available)
1 \N 1-pound box of lasagna noodles; uncooked
1 \N Container; (15-oz) ricotta cheese
2 \N Eggs
½ teaspoon Salt; (or to taste)
⅛ cup (approx; I just used a handful) pitted and sliced black olives
3 cups Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

You don't have to cook the lasagna noodles first, assemble straight from the box, nice one-step process. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Saute beef in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chopped piquins and stir and cook about 1 more minute, coughing as necessary from the fumes (be sure to cover your mouth). Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix salt to taste with ricotta cheese and then add eggs, mixing well to form a creamy blend. Set aside. Combine marinara sauce (Barilla really is the best brand, IMO), water, and basil in large bowl.

Ladle 1½ cups of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 12 x 8 ½ x 2 inch glass baking dish. Lay ⅓ of the uncooked noodles, slightly overlapping if necessary, on top of the sauce. Spread ½ of the ricotta mix over the noodles. Sprinkle with ½ of the mozzarella cheese and top that with all of the black olive slices. Now add ½ of the meat mixture and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Finally top that with another 1 ½ cups of sauce. Continue this layering process with another ⅓ of the noodles, the rest of the ricotta mix, then the rest of the mozzarella, the rest of meat, and another ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Top with the last ⅓ of the uncooked noodles (gently squishing down if nec so the layers don't stick up too much above the sides of the baking dish and make sure they don't stick out over the sides at all). Ladle the last of the sauce over everything, covering completely. Sprinkle with the remining ½ cup parmesan. Cover TIGHTLY with heavy duty aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.

Bake until noodles are tender and lasagna is heated through, about 1 ½ hours (if you remove the foil to check for doneness, be sure to put back on tightly if you return dish to the oven again.) Uncover and broil briefly, if desired, to lightly brown top. Let stand a full 15 minutes minimum before serving. Cut lasagna in squares and serve with salad and garlic bread. (Could be made 1 day ahead and rewarmed, covered, in 350F oven for about 45 min.)

Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST by "Deb deForest" <deforest@...> on Oct 26, 1999, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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