Warm Winter Lasagna

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This past weekend was a cold one. So it was only natural that we decided to go get our Christmas tree, braving the chill winds to find the perfect tree to cut (it was in the absolute, farthest corner of the 40 acre property).

But we warmed up after with a gooey, cheesy venison lasagna. I actually made three versions of it–one following the recipe below, one substituting zucchini for pasta, and one without any cheese. All were delicious, although the zucchini had so much water in it that that one was kind of messy. Someday I’ll find the right thing to use instead of pasta, but I don’t know what it is. (I’m open to ideas!)

Sorry…no picture. We were all too hungry to think about that. It looked like lasagna.

Warm Winter Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 c. (15 oz.) Ricotta cheese
  • 3 c. (15 oz.) shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb lasagna (Rick made the pasta, but left to my own devices, I’d buy it)
  • 1 recipe meat sauce

Directions

Combine cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on bottom of 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Layer 3 pieces of uncooked lasagna over sauce; cover with about 1 1/2 cups sauce. Spread cheese filling over sauce. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese filling. Top with layer of lasagna and remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Remove foil; bake about 10 minutes longer. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Venison Meat Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how much garlic you like)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground venison
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 1 12 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbs dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 3 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the ground meat and paprika and cook until meat is browned. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 to 4 hours (the sauce is ready to eat after 1 hour, but will be better the longer it simmers).

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