Welcome to Day 4 of the Second Annual Bloggy Progressive Dinner. So far, we’ve been treated to some delicious drinks at JessieLeigh’s, some fantastic appetizers at Jen’s place and great side dishes at The Happy Housewife’s. Now, on to the main dish.
For tonight’s main dish, I wanted a nice, hearty dinner that wasn’t too hard to put together yet elegant and tasty enough to impress company. I love serving lasagna to friends and family because it seems to be a universal favorite. So I thought it would be fun to boost it up a bit and make it even more special and memorable. Here’s the result –
Meat Lovers Lasagna
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
- 1 lb. bacon
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 c. marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 30 oz. container ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 box lasagna noodles (about 9), fully cooked and drained
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Dice bacon and fry until crisp in a large skillet. (See my important tip on this step below.) With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to drain and pour off grease. Add ground beef, Italian sausage, onion and garlic to the skillet. Cook until done, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Stir in marinara sauce and reserved bacon.
2. In a bowl, stir together ricotta, eggs and Parmesan cheese until combined.
3. Spread a fourth of the meat mixture into the bottom of the dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Top noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, then meat, then 3 more noodles. Repeat until done, ending with a meat layer on top. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
4. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit at least 5 minutes before cutting.
In the interest of saving time, I thought it would be a good idea to just cook all of the meats together. Except I didn’t realize that bacon doesn’t crisp when cooked with other meats. So, I kept cooking it, hoping that the bacon would eventually crisp. It never did. Finally I gave up on that idea and decided to just pick all of the bacon out of the pan and crisp it on its own.
Do you realize what a long and laborious process it is to pick a pound of diced bacon pieces out of 2 pounds of other cooked meat? It is SO not fun! But I finally was able to crisp it all in a separate skillet. The whole thing felt like a comedy of errors. But in the end, the payoff was huge and tasty!
This makes a huge lasagna! It’s definitely enough to entertain a crowd with a salad and bread on the side. For our family of 6, it will be enough for 2 dinners, plus some extras. It is that big and filling.
So what main dish do you have to share with us tonight? Link up below so we all can come visit. Then don’t forget to stop by Amy’s tomorrow night where she’ll be sharing the finer thing of dessert. I can’t wait to see what she serves up!