|1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground venison, no fat added
||1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
|1 lb. Italian sausage or Hot Sausage
||1/4 cup Port Wine
|1 package 10 oz. Lasagna Noodles (10 noodles)
||1/4 cup water
|1 can (28 oz.) whole or crushed tomatoes, don't drain
Wild Bill's Meat Rub
|1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
||1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
|1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
|| 3 tablespoons olive oil, reserve 1
tablespoon for pasta water
|3 cups Ricotta or cottage cheese
|| 2 tablespoons dried basil
|1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced (12 slices)
|| 1 tablespoon dried oregano
|1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
|| 4 tablespoons dried parsley, divided
|1 cup onion, diced fine
|| 1 tablespoon
Morton table salt, reserve 1 teaspoon
|2 cloves garlic, minced
|| 1 tablespoon honey
|2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a large skillet on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil,
venison, Italian sausage, garlic, onions and cook
until brown. Drain grease from skillet. Add crushed tomatoes,
tomato paste, tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons dried parsley, 2 tablespoons
dried basil, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon
Wild Bill's Meat Rub, 1/4 cup Port Wine, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
peppercorns, 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons salt mixing well. Reduce
heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, add water to a 10 quart plus pasta pot and bring to a boil.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and 10 oz. package of lasagna
noodles and cook per package instructions until al dente. When finished cooking, drain and
place under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place noodles
flat on a sheet of aluminum foil until ready to use.
For the cheese filling, combine Ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons
parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese mixing well.
TO ASSEMBLE: Spread 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom
of a deep dish 9 x 13 lasagna pan. Layer half the
cooked lasagna noodles overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the
cottage cheese mixture over the noodles; spread evenly. Cover
cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less
than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top. Repeat; lasagna
noodles, cheese mixture, cheese slices ending with meat/sauce mixture.
Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 30 to 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Recipe adapted from standard beef lasagna recipes
from cookbooks and the internet.
NOTES: I baked the above Venison Lasagna on 05-23-13 and
served with a tossed salad and garlic toast. This recipe is
outstanding and there was a very good presence of Italian spices, especially
the fennel seeds and anise seeds in the recipe of which I believe most of it
came from the Johnsonville Italian Mild Sausage, although I used only 1/2
teaspoon of fennel seeds in the meat sauce/mixture. My bride liked the
recipe but I don't think she was as stoked as I was about the
presence of the fennel seed flavor and updated the recipe to reflect the
change in the amount of the fennel seeds. We have never been big fans of
Italian cuisine other than pizza and spaghetti simply because neither of us
had much experience with it growing up. What few times I have
experienced Lasagna there was an overpowering taste and presence of a tomato
paste taste and I rectified that by toning down the tomato taste flavors
with the usage of 1 tablespoon of pure honey and it did the trick. It
took the bitter taste out of the tomato paste in my humble opinion. My
bride managed a local Pizza Inn for several years and regularly prepared
Lasagna along with other Italian dishes but her favorite is still
Pizza Inn pizza such as their BLT,
Pepperoni, Bacon Cheeseburger and a few others. Both our parents made
traditional Southern style spaghetti but I don't remember Lasagna being
prepared at all.
I let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes or more but it could have cooled
much longer to get an optimum photo since the cheeses were not solidified
yet but it sure did taste wonderful! The last three pixs added to the
sequence pixs below were the first ones that I took of the plated lasagna.
The first three pixs above were taken after the lasagna had cooled down an
hour or so. I will add this recipe to my
pasta section but will change the venison to beef....grin if you must!
I used 3 cups of the Ricotta cheese but believe 2 cups would have been
adequate for this recipe.
I don't own a deep dish lasagna pan and used a standard Pyrex dish 9 x 13 x 2 and it was
filled to the maximum and didn't take the meat/sauce mixture to the extreme
edge since it was about to overflow....grin if you must! I will add a specialty lasagna pan to our
kitchen pots n pans because I will definitely do this recipe again. My taste
testers will have some large samples to critique tomorrow!
Click on thumbnail sequence pixs below for a larger screen view:
NOTE: I got totally preoccupied with the lasagna assembly
and didn't take pixs of each step of the assembly but the directions are
correct....my bad on the sequence pixs.
Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 05-21-13 with pixs added on