It might be round, but this Dutch oven lasagne has all the flavors and layers you know and love. I use oven-ready pasta in this recipe to save the extra step of boiling them (and dirtying another pot . . . because who wants to do more dishes?).
Ooey gooey goodness was once only possible at home, in an oven, where layer upon layer of pasta, cheese, and sauce bubbled together in a tidy rectangular baking dish. But classic lasagne can now be had in camp!
For the meat sauce
- 225 g (½ lb) lean ground beef
- 225 g (½ lb) Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce/800 g) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz/226 g) can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup (60 ml) dry red wine
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
For the cheese mixture
- 2 large eggs
- 4½ cups (500 g) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 cups (450 g) ricotta cheese
- ½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnishing
For the lasagne
- Olive oil spray
- 9 uncooked oven-ready lasagne sheets
- 3 cups packed baby spinach
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 10 minutes
To make the meat sauce, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef and sausage. Flatten the meat, spread it across the skillet, and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Stir to break up the meat and continue cooking until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, fennel seeds, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a mound of wood coals, hardwood lump charcoal, or charcoal briquettes.
To make the cheese mixture, in a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, 4 cups (450 g) of the mozzarella, the ricotta, ¼ cup (25 g) of the Parmesan, and the parsley. Stir until well combined.
To assemble the lasagne, lightly spray a dutch oven with oil. Spoon one-third of the meat sauce into the oven, followed by one-third of the pasta sheets, one-half of the cheese mixture, and one-half of the spinach. (Break the lasagna sheets into pieces to fit the oven.) Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of meat sauce. Top with the remaining ½ cup (56 g) mozzarella and remaining ¼ cup (25 g) Parmesan.
Move about a quart’s worth of coals to the cooking pit and arrange them in a ring .Cover the oven, set it on the ring of coals, and place 1 ½ rings of coals on the lid.
Bake over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until all of the cheeses are melted and the noodles are tender. Replenish the coals as needed to maintain medium heat and rotate the oven and lid halfway through for even cooking. Let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley.
Recipe from The New Camp Cookbook: Gourmet grub for campers, road trippers and adventurers by Linda Ly, photographs by Will Taylor (Voyageur Press/Quarto Group, hb, $29.99). Read more of Linda's camping tips, fire building instructions and recipes here.