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Mar 15, 2013 03:45 PM

Unconventional Lasagna

I'm looking for a lasagna recipe that doesn't use ground meat. I would like meat in it though to keep my carnivore husband happy.

Any good recipes out there worth trying?

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  1. I don't have any lasagna recipes but have you thought about making a beef cheek ragu and using that instead of ground meat?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Paprikaboy

      I have been making all kinds of lasagnas and the most popular one, by far, is my beet and goat cheese lasagna. I got inspired after eating beet ravioli and I used the fine cooking butternut squash lasagna as a reference. I serve it with sausages and an acidic salad-usually with enive, radicchio and walnuts.

    2. Could use chunks of meat instead of ground. Maybe a favorite lasagna with chicken or beef cubes instead of ground meat.

      I enjoy lasagna made with:

      • chicken, bacon, tomato, green onion, alfredo, garlic, Pecorino, & mozzarella
      • potato layers (thin sliced), chicken, broccoli, and cheese sauce
      • olives in ricotta or cottage cheese layers (capers & chives optional)
      • Homemade pasta layers instead of dried noodles

      2 Replies
      1. re: smaki

        I like the idea of using capers or olives in with the ricotta.

        1. re: Musie

          Is tasty, good eye. Try flavored ricotta in spaghetti also. Ricotta protects olives and capers to showcase their flavor. Is especially good inside lasagna.

          Can also put flavored ricotta or other stuffing inside a plate of spaghetti. Each individual meal exactly as desired. First add a thin layer of noodles to an empty plate. Then top those noodles with whatever is handy immediately desired: ricotta, cottage cheese, capers, olives, chives, Pecorino, mozzarella, cheddar, dip, salami, glazed carrots, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoni, meat, spinach, ... Then add another thin layer of noodles on top. Do as many layers as desire. Two or three is usually enough. So now each plate of spaghetti noodles have personal good stuff layer(s) in the center. Then top noodles with sauce to make wet instead of dry. Add optional treats to 'garnish' on top of the sauce like: chunks of chicken, beef, sausage, elk, ground meat, mushrooms, green onions, olives, capers, chives, sun-dried tomatoes, grated cheese, fresh basil, ...

          Have been calling it 'layered spaghetti' or 'personal lasagna'. Initially was 'lazy man's lasagna' because make when crave lasagna without enough motivation to make homemade noodles I like in it best.

          To taste individual flavors and mix in my mouth is something I enjoy - instead of pre-mixing things together ahead of time. So when cook for myself I often serve things separate. Five main items or less is often best. Love garnishes, sprinkles, and toppings. Allows expanded variety meal-to-meal when eating left overs.

          I prefer thin spaghetti made with whole wheat (cooked 7 minutes, drained, with olive oil stirred in). Cut down through the layers with my fork a bite at a time as eat. This way each bite has more layers of flavor. Often half way through half my plate will be empty.

      2. Do you want a traditional tomato based one?

        3 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          Ideally. Although I have considered using fresh tomato to layer with.

          1. re: Musie

            I think fresh tomatoes would release too much liquid when you bake.

            1. re: Musie

              Okay because I've made pulled pork lasagna which my carnivore husband enjoyed, although I was on the fence about it, and there is the Le marche lasagna which is excellent but not tomato based. I think fresh tomatoes would work if you oven roasted them some first.

          2. How about sausage? You can either open up the casing and cook it like that or cook it in the casing and then slice it to use when you layer the lasagna.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Philly Ray

              Last time I made lasagna I used two 8"x 8" baking dishes and put half a recipe with sausage in one, and half with Tofurkey Italian "sausage" chopped up in the other, as Mrs. O is not doing meat anymore. They were both quite good. The real sausage was just Johnsonville bulk Italian, browned in the skillet and crumbled. Not fabulous but good enough for lasagna.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I normally make lasagna 'cupcakes'. I do the traditional style lasagna filling for him and I use lentils as a meat substitute in mine. I've found lentils to be my favourite vegetarian substitution.

            2. I like Paprika Boy's idea of doing a braise (I think) of meat and using that as your ragu. Beef and pork, if you like. Tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, wine.