Florence restaurant guide

You can find some of the best pizza, lasagna, ravioli, and gelato in the world in the heart of Tuscany in Florence, Italy. The Italian food you find here is obviously very different from the Americanized Italian version found elsewhere. Only the freshest, often locally sourced organic ingredients are used in preparation, and most recipes are very simple yet satisfying. Continue reading “Florence restaurant guide”

Sami’s organic lamb lasagna

Over the past few years, I have stayed away from lasagna, even though I love it. Reason being I was trying to heat healthy when given the option, and avoiding red meats. But when my friend, Sami brought over a large pan of her homemade organic lamb lasagna, I gave it a try and was hooked! A slight twist on the traditional Italian classic but retaining all of same textures and balances. It was the perfect combination of tender meat, not too tangy sauce, al dente noodles and the right amount of cheese. Everyone loved it!

With Fall around the corner, this is a comfort dish that will keep your entire family satisfied. Also, it makes good leftovers.

Sami purchases meats and vegetables from local farms that deliver to your door every week. Gegorgia Organics has a list of them where you can search by zip code. You pay a flat fee and state what size basket you would like. Some places require a weekly pickup. It makes a huge difference in the flavor, if you use organic vs. regular ingredients.

Organic Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lamb or goat (grass-fed beef ok too)
  • 1.5 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (29 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 12 dry lasagna noodles (whole wheat better)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 pint whole ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup choppsed fresh parshley (I used 2 tablespoons dried parsley since I didn’t have fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In large skillet brown ground meat, onion and garlic. Mix in basil, oregano, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Can make this ahead of time.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees using convection setting. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook until al dente; drain. Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover noodles with 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining noodles, ricotta mixture and sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  5. Spray foil w/ nonstick oil and cover the whole thing. Bake 40 minutes; take foil off and bake for another 15-20 minutes (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn). Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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