If you want to win the heart of someone on Valentine's Day, serve lasagna. Impress that special person with a home-cooked meal made with love. You can prepare this lasagna the day before. On Valentine's Day all you will have to do is set a nice table, with candles, while your lasagna is reheating in the oven.
Why do I like to eat at home on Valentine's Day you may ask? I don't find it romantic to go out and eat in a restaurant that is overcrowded. On that special occasion it is nice to have a quiet night at home with my family. I like to serve them a meal with the color red. Lasagna is a great choice and I used fresh Olivieri lasagna sheets in my recipe. Using fresh pasta speeds up my preparation time in the kitchen.
Valentine's Day is about celebrating with the people that are special in your life. For myself it is my husband and my three kids. I like to make this day special for them. Preparing a meal at home is a delicious way to show them that I love them.
The Best Meat Lasagna
500g lean ground beef
1 pkg 360g Fresh Lasagna Sheets
250g mushrooms, finely sliced
750 ml can ground tomatoes with puree and spices
1 cup water
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
15 ml vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 ml sugar
5 ml salt
5ml Montreal Steak spices
5 ml dried basilic
2.5 ml cinnamon
2.5 ml crushed red chili flakes
allspice, to taste
2 bay leaves
15 slices pepperoni
500 ml cottage cheese
500 ml mozzarella cheese, grated
1- Preheat oven to 350F.
2- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
3- In a large non-stick skillet cook ground beef with onions for 5-6 minutes until no pink. Add the red pepper and cook for another minute. Add the spices and garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground tomatoes, the water and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
4- In a small mix the cottage cheese with the egg. Set aside.
5- When the sauce is ready, remove the bay leaves. Mix in the mushrooms.
6. Place 1 1/4 cup of sauce to the bottom of a lightly greased 9x14-inch pan. Layer with lasagna sheets (cut if necessary), top with 1 1/4 cup sauce. Layer with lasagna sheets, top with 1 1/4 cup sauce. Top with the cottage cheese mix. Layer with lasagna sheets, top with 1 1/4 cup sauce. Layer with lasagna sheets, top with 1 1/4 cup sauce. On top of the sauce place 15 slices of pepperoni. Top with the mozzarella cheese.
7- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. It is best to spray PAM on the foil.
8- Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes.
9- Let stand, at room temperature, for 5 minutes before serving.