We can’t wait to have you join in on the lasagna fun! First, we’ll make homemade ricotta and red sauce, then we’ll assemble our lasagna and throw it in the oven.
You’ll need the following tools to get started:
For the Homemade Ricotta
-1 large pot
-1 thermometer (if you have one — not needed)
-1 slotted spoon
-1 1-cup liquid measuring cup
For the Red Sauce
-1 medium-large saucepan
-1 metal or wooden spoon
For the Lasagna
-1 large baking dish
-1 saute pan
For the ricotta
◦ 1 gallon whole milk, raw preferred
◦ 1 cup white vinegar
◦ 1 tsp salt
For the red sauce
◦ 2 tsp olive oil
◦ 4 cloves garlic
◦ 1 punch red pepper flakes
◦ 2 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes (whole, peeled or diced)
For the lasagna
◦ 1-2 boxes lasagna noodles
◦ 1 pkg whole milk mozzarella, shredded
◦ 1 lb Italian sausage (pork, turkey or chicken) or ground beef *optional
◦ 1 jar roasted red peppers
◦ 1 bag frozen spinach
◦ Other optional ingredients: artichokes, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms
Yield 1 pound
Your mind is about to be blown! Make this at home whenever you have milk and vinegar on hand and never buy Ricotta from the store again.
1 gallon whole milk (preferably raw*)
1/2-1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt
dried oregano, basil, red pepper flakes or fresh basil to garnish if desired
In a large pot, heat milk to 190 degrees F.
Once it starts to simmer and foam, add 1/2 cup vinegar and stir with a slotted spoon to combine.
Curds and whey will begin to separate, but if the milk still seems cloudy, add the rest of the vinegar.
Once the curds are completely separated from the whey (and the whey has taken on a light yellow/green hue) remove from heat.
Add salt, stir and place a lid on the pot to sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours. This will allow the curds to settle and develop flavor.
Strain off curds and flavor with more herbs to garnish if desired.
Reserve whey and feed to your dog(s)! The whey helps coats become quite shiny and your pets will thank you...they love this stuff.
Ricotta can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but we promise it won't last that long.
*Raw milk is the best choice here because it is in its purest form and will curdle much more easily. If you must use store-bought whole milk, make sure it is not Ultra-Pasteurized if possible. This will ensure that your Ricotta comes out perfect every time.
Ricotta can be served on top of your favorite pasta with garlic and olive oil, red sauce or can even be sprinkled on roasted veggies (think beets) and on eggs! Mix Ricotta with Green Goddess Dressing for an amazing dip, too.
Baked Gnocchi in Red Sauce
Yield 4-6 servings
I love the TJ's frozen gnocchi, but we're going to jazz it up a bit here. If gnocchi is out, substitute any pasta you like (frozen or fresh). Just make sure to cook dried pasta.
Tortellini work really well in this dish!
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 big pinch red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 28-oz can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1-2 pkg frozen gnocchi in sauce
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium saucepan over low, saute garlic with red pepper flakes and oil for 3 minutes or until lightly browned, but not burned.
- Add canned tomatoes, fill can with water ¼ of the way to gather any leftover pulp and pour into saucepan.
- Remove from heat, puree in a blender and reserve.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a baking dish, pour 2 cups red sauce to cover the bottom of the dish, add gnocchi mixture to the center, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, ricotta and parmesan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbling.