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Friends 25th Anniversary: Monica's Lasagna Recipe

Who here is a die-hard Friends fan?!?! The answer is me!!! And everyone, of course. I haven’t heard of one person who dislikes this amazing show. I also can’t believe that my beloved show Friends is now twenty-five years old. Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, Monica and Ross are like my childhood friends, and they’ve been making me laugh for 25 years. So considering they are my first friends ever, I must celebrate and whip up a special Friends-themed meal to eat while I restart the series. There are a lot of different foods sprinkled throughout Friends, but I’m making one that came up in the very first season: Monica’s Lasagna. In the episode, “The One with the Dozen Lasagnas,” Monica makes a dozen lasagnas for a party she is catering, only to find out that they ordered vegetarian, and not the meat ones she made. So, she was stuck with a dozen lasagnas and kept giving them away to her friends and strangers to eat.

 I’m finally bringing Monica’s lasagna to life so we can all enjoy it—but we’re only making one this time.

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INGREDIENTS:

Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped white onion 

  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot 

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery 

  • 5 garlic gloves minced 

  • ¼ chopped fresh parsley 

  • 2 tbsp dried oregano 

  • 2 tbsp dried basil 

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 cup red wine (optional)

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes 

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ lemon - squeezed 

  • 1 tbsp gratedgraded parmesan cheese

Cheese Mixture:

  • 1 ½ cup ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

METHOD:

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

*Boil lasagna noodles for 10 minutes.

Bolognese Sauce: 

  1. Chop onions, carrots, celery.

  2. Chop fresh parsley, dried oregano and basil.

  3. Mince garlic.

  4. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

  5. Add onion and garlic, sauté till soft.

  6. Add celery and carrot and continue to sauté.  

  7. Raise heat to high and add ground beef.

  8. Sauté, stirring frequently to break up the meat.

  9. Cook until meat is no longer pink.

  10. Pour red wine and stir (optional).

  11. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, stir sauce over medium low heat.

  12. Add parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parmesan, continuing to stir.

  13. Bring to boil then let simmer for 10 minutes.

Cheese mixture:

  1. In a bowl, combine and mix shredded parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta.

Lasagna:

  1. In an oven- safe baking dish, spread bottom with bolognese sauce.

  2. Place noodles side by side, covering the bottom of the dish.

  3. Evenly spread cheese mixture onto noodles. 

  4. Cover with sauce, and repeat layers.

  5. For the final layer, add sauce and sprinkle top with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

  6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

  7. Remove cover and let bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

  8. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, serve, and enjoy

NOTES:

  • Can sub noodles for gluten-free alternatives or zucchini noodles.

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