As a decisive nod to my carnivorism, I decided to make this hearty recipe for Pepperoni Studded Lasagna from Guy Fieri I came across on foodnetwork.com. With two pounds of Italian sausage and a giant helping of pepperoni, this tray of lasagna is definitely meant for a crowd.
This is not the “mean meaty lasagna” I referenced in my portobello rollups post, but a first-time experiment. First of all, the recipe makes a MASSIVE amount of lasanga (see the pan requirement–10x14x3-inch as opposed to the standard 9x14x2). I told myself I was going to cut back on the amounts of everything to make a smaller pan, but ended up using the large pan with scaled back ingredients instead (that’s what I get for grocery shopping/meal planning while on the phone with my mom). So, for the smaller pan, I’d suggest knocking off a third to a half of each ingredient. Additionally, to save time, I again used store-bought tomato sauce instead of making my own. I’ve decided I must just be scared to do it myself, though I’m sure it would turn out much more flavorful than canned. Next time!
Many fun things after the break, including first bites, more tips, and the actual recipe.
I thought the lasagna was pretty good and really hearty and filling. Mario loved it, as did some friends he had over to watch some March Madness action that evening. I definitely think that this is a “man’s meal”, especially if that man loves pizza, as Mario does. The pepperoni studded lasagna looks and tastes a lot like a deep dish pizza.
There are a few varieties of Italian sausage you can purchase, and the “hot” style I used added a nice spiciness to the meal. Prep tip: If you can’t find ground Italian sausage in the meat case, just get Italian sausage links. When you get ready to cook, run a knife down one side of a link and simply peel away the casing–now you have bulk Italian sausage! Also, don’t use pre-sliced, pre-packaged, preserved pepperoni (like that alliteration, huh?) for this, buy the real thing! I went about half and half since I had some leftover prepackaged pepperoni in the fridge, but when you put that stuff in a hot pan you can tell it’s mostly fillers. Kroger and Whole Foods have real pepperoni sticks (links? Not sure what to call them), and they’re not really expensive.
Enough talk, the recipe is below. I’m always happy to answer questions about my cooking experiences if anyone has any!
Pepperoni Studded Lasagna
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri
Total Cook Time: 1 hr 35 min
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
* 2 pounds lasagna sheets
* 2 cups hand cut 1/8-inch slices pepperoni
* 4 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
* 1 pound ricotta
* 16 ounces shredded mozzarella
* 2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, cooked
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Boil 6 quarts of water, add pinch of salt, and cook pasta to almost done. Remove from water and shock in ice bath.
In medium saucepan add pepperoni and saute over medium heat until crispy. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.
In a 10-by-14-by-3-inch baking pan or dish, pour 1 cup of tomato sauce in bottom and around sides. Layer lasagna sheets on the bottom of the pan, overlapping by 1/2-inch. Add 1/3 amount of ricotta, 1/3 amount of mozzarella, 1/3 amount of sausage, then sprinkle generously with the Parmesan, add 1/2 cup tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup of pepperoni. Repeat this 2 more times.
On the very top sheet, top with remaining ricotta, tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and dust with Parmesan. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let sit for 15 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.
* 3 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 yellow onion, minced
* 5 medium-sized garlic cloves, crushed
* 6 cups skinned and diced Roma tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
* Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook over medium to low heat until transparent. Add garlic and cook until almost brown. Then add tomatoes and cook for 1/2 hour over low to medium heat. Add the basil and oregano and continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.