Salute to National Lasagna Day

Posted at 7:23 AM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 07:31:17-04

This week Americans will pay tribute to a hardy pasta dish with roots in Italy. National Lasagna Day is set for Friday, July 29.

Sunil Monnie, the culinary manager at Olive Garden, is pulling out all the stops.

In a recent interview with ABC Action News Weekend Edition anchor Lindsay Logue, Monnie displayed his recipe for the baked dish stuffed with layers of pasta, cheese, tomato sauce and ground beef.

Check it out here.

Here is a lasagna recipe inspired by Olive Garden's Lasagna Classico

INGREDIENTS for the meat sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
6 ounces Italian sausage, removed from their casings and crumbled
2 16-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

INGREDIENTS for the cheese mixture:
16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup romano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

INGREDIENTS for the lasagna:
12 cooked or no-boil lasagna noodles
Cooking spray
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.    Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the ground beef and sausage, and cook 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2.    Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano, and stir to combine. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then chill.
3.    Make the cheese mixture: Mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and romano cheeses, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and egg in a large mixing bowl.
4.    Build and bake the lasagna: Spray the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
5.    Spread 4 ounces of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
6.    Layer 3 lasagna noodles over the meat sauce (they may overlap slightly).
7.    Spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
8.    Spread 1 cup of meat sauce onto the cheese mixture.
9.    Repeat the layers of noodles, cheese, and meat sauce two more times.
10.    Top with 3 lasagna noodles, the remaining meat sauce, and shredded mozzarella.
11.    Spray a large piece of foil with cooking spray and wrap the pan tightly with it, sprayed side down. Bake at 325ºF for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the internal temperature is 165º.
12.    Turn the oven off and allow the lasagna to set up in the warm oven for 30 minutes.
13.    Cut into squares 2 rows long by 4 rows wide. Plate and garnish with fresh basil.

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