July 29 is a very busy National Day – everything from Chicken Wings to Lipstick Day. Add to that the last Thursday in July and you can include both Chili Dog Day and Intern Day. Lipstick Day is all about putting your best painted lips forward. All you lipstick fans can prance about wearing your favorite shade. While you might look fantastic in the kitchen, can’t think of a single recipe that involves lipstick, can you?
As for Intern Day, we’re to recognize all the college graduates testing the waters of professional life by serving as interns in a variety of occupations. So here’s to you – go forward and discover!
Now that we’ve got the non-food events out of the way, let’s talk for a moment about the edible celebrations. Today is Chicken Wing Day. I don’t know about you, but I have a million recipes for chicken wings. Okay, maybe not a million, but more than one for sure. Last year for National Chicken Wing Day, I shared with you my Jerk Chicken Wings. These wings have a special place in my heart because they were Kiddo’s first appetizers when he graduation to my Sous Chef. Today is also Chili Dog Day. Who doesn’t like a good Chili Dog? In the past, we’ve had an entire Backyard Feast with a focus on that last Thursday in July. We’ve also cooked up some great Cincinnati Reds’ Chili-Cheese Dogs.
Looking over what we’ve shared in the past, I realized National Lasagna Day has been completely ignored. I think part of the problem is that Lasagna, traditional meaty pasta Lasagna, is a heavy meal on a hot summer’s day. However; when I mentioned to my guys that we were going to skip Lasagna Day again this year, they looked crushed. I don’t think I make Lasagna often enough for those guys. So I’m going to correct this terrible oversight right now. After all, in our house it’s Tuscan Thursday – so anything Italian goes. Enjoy!
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Classic Beefy Sausage Lasagna
9 uncooked Lasagna Noodles
1 small White Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Baby Carrots
1/2 lb. bulk Italian Sausage
1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1 (15-oz.) container Ricotta Cheese
1 tablespoon dried Basil Leaves
1 egg, beaten
16 oz. (4 cups) shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 (48-oz.) jar (5 cups) Tomato Pasta Sauce
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley, garnish
Cook lasagna noodles to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay noodles out on a baking sheet to keep flat.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350-degrees. Peel and finely mince onion, set aside. Stem, core and finely dice bell pepper, set aside. Finely dice baby carrots, set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage and ground beef together, breaking meats apart as they brown. Add onions, bell peppers and carrots. Continue to cook until meats are cook through while vegetables remain crisp. Drain well, set aside.
In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, basil, egg and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese; mix well.
Spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in bottom of ungreased 13-inch by 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Top with 3 cooked noodles. Spread 1-1/2 cups pasta sauce over noodles. Top with half of ricotta mixture and half of meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 cups of the Mozzarella Cheese. Top with 3 noodles, 1-1/2 cups pasta sauce, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining meat mixture, 3 noodles and remaining pasta sauce. Cover tightly with sprayed foil.
Bake in the heated oven for 50 minutes undisturbed. Uncover lasagna; sprinkle with remaining 1-1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese. Cover; bake an additional 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Uncover; let stand 15 minutes. While the lasagna stands, snip parsley for garnish. Sprinkle with fresh parsley just before serving.