This absolutely brilliant, very juicy and flavorful 3 Cheeses and Beef Lasagna recipe will now be a favorite in your family. There are never leftovers!
Everybody loves lasagna and we Dominicans are no exception. This 3-Cheeses and Beef Lasagna, while insanely flavorful, is not trying to pass itself as an authentic Italian dish; after all, it's not the first time we do unspeakable things to Italian dishes. Unspeakably-delicious things.
The best recipe for baking lasagna
One thing I really dislike in many baked beef lasagna recipes I have tried is that the pasta gets too soggy. I am a stickler for al dente pasta; anything else would be just too much a horror for me to bear. You may feel differently about this.
The great thing about this recipe is that it all but guarantees your lasagna will remain al dente, not to mention the ease of working with raw pasta instead of wrangling leaves of slippery boiled lasagna that most often than not end on the floor, and break or stick to each other in the boiling.
Also, cheese. Lots of cheese.
About our lasagna recipe
For this lasagna I use minced beef --but minced pork is also very good-- and cremita cheese, a Dominican version of ricotta, only drier. I mixed the cremita with shredded mozzarella, and the lasagna is topped with parmesan.
The fresh tomato sauce adds the final touch to this dish that no canned tomato sauce would, but if you want to save some time, go ahead, use canned or jarred peeled tomatoes.
And you have to give this dish a try, you are about to learn how to make the best lasagna with meat and cheese you can possibly make at home.
3 Cheese and Beef Lasagna
For beef filling
- 2 lbs [0.9 kg] of ground beef
- 1 small red onion , minced
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 1 teaspoon of dry oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 tablespoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 cups of tomato sauce
For tomato sauce to top
- 10 very ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt , or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of mashed garlic
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 1/2 lb [0.23 kg] of shredded dry mozzarella
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of cremita cheese (or dry ricotta), crumbled
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan
- Pre-heat oven at 300°F [150°C].
How to season ground beef for lasagna
- Season beef with onion, bell pepper, oregano, pepper and salt.
Cooking the beef for lasagna
- In a skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and stir to break down any clumps. Add water and tomato sauce.
- Simmer, adding water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level until the meat is cooked-through (10 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
How to make tomato sauce for lasagna
- With a sharp knife score a shallow cross on the bottom of the tomatoes.
- Put a gallon [4 lt] of water to boil in a large pot. Submerge the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin begins to peel off. Remove from the hot water and cool to room temperature.
- Skin, seed and chop the tomatoes. Sprinkle pepper and salt on the tomatoes.
- Heat oil over low heat, add tomatoes and garlic. Add a cup of water and simmer over very low heat until it turns into about 2 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
- Remove from the heat and reserve.
How to assemble and bake lasagna
Spread the olive oil on the bottom of a baking pan. Lay 1/3 of the raw lasagna on top. Spread half the meat on the lasagna.
Top with half the cremita and half the mozzarella. Lay another third of the pasta on top.
Cover with the remaining beef, followed by the remaining cremita and mozzarella. Top with the remaining lasagna, and pour the tomato sauce on top.
- Cover the pan as tight as possible with aluminum foil. Bake 1 hour. Uncover, top with parmesan and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with salad.