This is simply the best lasagna recipe for a cast iron dutch oven.
I chose to bake mine in an oven, but this recipe would work on a BBQ grill or even over an open fire and I have included the information on how to cook it that way below.
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- 1/4 pound hamburger
- 1 quart tomato sauce pre-seasoned with basil and Italian herbs
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces Mexican Cheese Blend
- 1 Tablespoon bacon grease or a handful of bacon bits
- 1 Tablespoon basil
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 small red chili pepper
- 2 Tablespoons garlic scapes
- 2 cloves garlic
- fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- Brown the hamburger in your skillet. I like using a cast iron skillet.
- When the hamburger is brown with no more pink showing, it is time to drain it.
- Dump the hamburger into a strainer positioned in the kitchen sink. Using hot water, wash the hamburger to remove the excess grease. Rinse the skillet out. Be sure you use hot water to do this.
- Return the meat to the pan, remove the strainer from that side of the sink, squirt a bit of dishwasher detergent into the sink, then use hot water to rinse the sink again and wash the detergent down the drain. This will help stop the grease from causing a clog in your drain.
- Put the pan filled with meat back on the stove. Add bacon bits or bacon grease. Do not add more than a tablespoon of bacon grease, less is better. If you are using crumbled bacon or bacon bits, add a generous handful.
- Have the sauce you are using and the spices assembled on the stove.
- Put the fresh garlic scapes into a food grinder and grind them up, then add them to the meat. I preserved my fresh garlic scapes in sea salt, so there will not be a need to add additional salt to the sauce when I make it.
- Add two whole garlic cloves, a tablespoon of basil, one small red chili pepper, a tablespoon of rosemary, a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper and a teasopoon of chili powder. The homemade sauce I used was pre-seasoned with basil and Italian herbs.
- Once all the seasonings have been added to the meat and stirred in, add the sauce. Mix well.
- Lower the heat to a low or warm setting. Keep the sauce warm for about ten minutes and allow the flavors to mix.
- Once the sauce is warm, add some fresh grated parmesan cheese to the sauce. Mix well. The amount of cheese you add will vary depending on how thin your sauce is. You want to add just enough to make the sauce thick. Generally I add about a cup of cheese.
- Once the sauce is done, keep it warm while you boil the water for your lasagna.
- Add a pinch of salt along with a drop of olive oil to the lasagna water. The olive oil will keep the pasta from sticking.
- Once the water comes to a boil, lay the pasta in the bottom of the pan It will stick out of the pan at first. This is ok. Allow the pasta to sit like this for a minute or so, then gently push it down into the water.
- Once the pasta is completely submerged in the water, cook it according to package directions. This generally takes somewhere between ten and twelve minutes, but can vary so do read the directions on your box of lasagna.
- When the lasagna is fully cooked, drain it into a stainer positioned in the kitchen sink. If you have a sprayer, turn on the cold water and hose the pasta off, if not run cold water over it from the kitchen tap.
- Dump the pasta back into the pan and fill with cold water. This will stop the pasta from continuing to cook.
- Strain the pasta a second time but this time simply sit the strainer with the pasta back in the pan.
- Take the pan back to the stove.
- Place a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the cast iron dutch oven.
- Put one layer of pasta on top of the tomato sauce. Bend the lasagna noodles over if necessary to make them fit in the bottom of the pan.
- Completely cover the top of the first layer of pasta with sauce.
- Add a thick layer of cheese on top of the pasta. Use a generous amount of cheese to make the lasagna extra cheesy.
- Continue layering the lasagna, the sauce and the cheese.
- Put some sauce on the top layer, a sprinkling of the Mexican blend cheese and top with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven.
- Put the cast iron dutch oven on the bottom rack of the oven and cook it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
Note: To cook lasagna in a cast iron dutch oven outdoors, follow all the instructions above to prepare the lasagna but do feel free to use uncooked noodles if you wish. Once the lasagna is ready to cook, place 7 coals under the cast iron dutch oven and 16 on top. Be sure to use a generous amount of sauce in the bottom of the pot and watch it closely so it does not burn.
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