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Honestly we’ve been dreaming about making this recipe since we first came out with Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce. At some point, we realized that in addition to a great sauce for pizza, that we also wanted a great sauce for all kinds of Italian American dishes; we wanted something a bit hotter than red pepper flakes that wouldn’t clash with those flavors. Fast forward a bit and we came up with a very tasty lasagna recipe with a spicy zip to it. To go straight to the instructional video and recipe just scroll to the bottom.
When making the ricotta filling, we prefer to use a skim ricotta as it has a little more moisture. The whole milk ricotta is delicious too but a bit drier than our ideal consistency here. Since we're using an uncooked pasta method a bit more moisture in the fillings is ok.
Use a relatively lean beef, about 90% lean or you might end up with a slick of grease in the final product. If you already have something less lean on hand, just drain some of the grease off before building your meat sauce. Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce was the natural option here. That sauce was designed to seamless pair with savory dishes; especially those with tomatoes, and Italian American inspired dishes. The Serrano peppers in the sauce are unobtrusive but at a bit of punch and heat in a way red pepper flakes just can't.
You might be wondering why we made two sauces: a tomato sauce and a meat sauce. The simple answer is that we didn't necessarily want meat in every layer, but we still needed to be sure we could get some sauce on the uncooked pasta in order to hydrate it during the cooking process. You absolutely do not have to do this and can simply make it all into one large pot of meat sauce.
When building your lasagna, make sure to put down a thin layer of sauce at the bottom so your pasta doesn't burn or stick to the casserole dish. Then add the first layer of pasta, then add your meat sauce, then add the ricotta, then add the next layer of pasta until you get to about 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) from the top of your dish. Your final three layers should be a layer of pasta, the last layer of meat or tomato sauce, and then a thin layer of shredded mozzarella. This will keep any. moisture from overflowing the dish.
3 Tbsp - Minced garlic, divided
4 oz - Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce, divided
15 oz - Peeled, whole tomatoes
8 oz - Sliced or shredded mozzarella
1/2 c - Olive oil
2 c - Chopped onion
1.5 lb - Ground beef
1/4 c - Chopped parsley
1/4 c - Chopped fresh basil
1 pkg - Dry lasagna sheets
2 c - Ricotta cheese
2 c - Shredded parmesan
2 - Egg yolks
1/4 tsp - Cinnamon
3 tsp - Black pepper
3 tsp - Sea salt
Mix ricotta, garlic, egg yolks, 1 cup of shredded parmesan, and 1 teaspoon each of salt & pepper in a bowl and set aside.
In a pot, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Sweat 1 cup onion then add 2 tablespoons garlic, and 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper. Then crush half of the tomatoes with your hands and add to the pot. Add basil, and 1/4 cup of Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. While it does, make the meat sauce.
In a large pan, heat 1/4 cup oil. Sweat 1 cup onion then add 2 tablespoons garlic, 2 tablespoons each salt & pepper. Add the ground beef and break it up with a spoon or spatula. Heat until cooked through and add 2 oz Bravado Spice Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce. Then crush the rest of the tomatoes and and add them to the meat. Mix and simmer, covered, for 30-45 min.
In a casserole dish, spread a layer of the tomato sauce. Then add a layer of the pasta, then the ricotta, then meat sauce, then the pasta, and so forth until the dish is full. You always want to spread ricotta on the pasta, and end with either the tomato or meat sauce. Top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese, cover, and bake for 45 min at 350°F. Then uncover and let it bake for 5-10 more minutes until the cheese on top browns a a bit.