Dat’l Hook Ya Love Lasagna

This recipe does take a lot of love and time to get just right. Its perfect for when you want to make a special dinner for some one. We use manicotti pasta for a different take on the lasagna look. The pasta is vertical and gives it a very unique appearance. The meat sauce takes time to develop the flavors. The ideal way is to prepare this the day before and reheat the next day.  The flavors and textures are more pronounced. If you wat it the same day, let it rest 20 min before removing the springform cake can. Feeds 6-8 . Takes 3-4 hours to prepare and cook.

16oz manicotti pasta

1/2 tsp sugar

3 cloves garlic minced

1 large Yellow onion diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 slice thick Bacon diced

10 fresh Basil leaves chopped

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 pound ground Italian sausage

12oz ground Bison or lean beef

28oz can Crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup Red wine

8oz sliced Baby bella mushrooms (chop a little for smaller pieces)

1 cup Dat’l Hook Ya green label

2 tsp Dat’l Hook Ya Blackened seasoning

1 Bell Pepper diced

1 cup Chicken broth

15 oz Ricotta cheese

1/2 cup fresh grated Romano cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

16 thin Salami slices

3oz Prosciutto

4 slices Mozarella cheese

4 slices Provolone cheese

1 small cucumber

1 Egg beaten

2 scallions

Olive oil spray

Bring a medium to large sized pot to medium high heat and add in the ground bison, Italian sausage, and Dat’l Hook Ya blackened seasoning. Break up the meat, mix and brown until meat is cooked. Remove the meat from pot and set aside. If drippings are heavy, remove some but leave a small amount for flavor. Reduce heat to medium and add in the diced bacon and cook until starting to brown. Reduce heat to medium low and add in the olive oil and then onion. Cook the onion until you get a nice light brown color or about 6 min. Add in the sugar and caramelize the onion about 2 min. Bring the pot to medium heat and add in 1 tsp Italian seasoning, the bell pepper and mushroom. Cook 4 to 5 min. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant about 1 min. Add in the red wine and reduce 50%. Next add in the Dat’l Hook Ya sauce, Basil, chicken broth, can crushed tomatoes and the ground meat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer 1. 5 hours. Stir every 5 min to avoid burning the bottom.

While the meat sauce is simmering, prepare the manicotti pasta. Boil in salted water until al dente or about 8 min. Remove when done and set out individually on a sheet separated and let cool. Once cool, cut them in half so you have two small tubes to set upright. Lightly coat the inside of the 10 inch springform cake pan with olive oil, place the tubes so the tubes are vertical. The pointy side will be up. You will be putting in the meat sauce from the top when ready to fill the tubes. DO NOT lay the manicotti flat on its side.

Next we will make the ricotta cheese spread. Add together 1 tsp Italian seasoning, Romano cheese, parmesan cheese, beaten egg. Stir until evenly mixed. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To make the Salami rose flowers, take a shot glass and press the salami in and repeat in a circle. Do this about 8 time. Watch a youtube video by searching for salami rose. For the flower petals, thinly cut a cucumber at an angle and then cut the slice in half. The petals are done!

Preheat and oven to 340 degrees. Once the meat sauce is complete, ladle it over the manicotti pasta in the cake pan. Once the top is covered gentle lift and tap the cake pan a few times until the meat sauce settles into the tubes. Keep adding until the meat tubes are full. You can use the handle of a spoon to gentle push the meat down. Once the tubes are full, spread the ricotta mix evenly over the top. Then add on the prosciutto. Tear the prosciutto into smaller pieces and evenly cover the top of the ricotta. Next add on in varying layers the mozzarella and provolone until the top is covered. Place into the oven uncovered for 50 min or until cheese is lightly brown. Remember the ideal is to reheat the next day. If you are eating same day, you can brown the cheese more. If reheating the next day, leave in the cake pan. The next day reheat by adding 1 tbsp of water sprinkled evenly on the top, cover with foil and cook at 350 degrees for 30 min, or until the center is hot. Adding the water on top helps keep the lasagna moist on the reheat.

Place the rose’s on top with the scallion and cucumber petals to make the perfect I Love you lasagna.