Lasagna

In my last post about the quick and dirty pasta sauce, I promised all of these sauce posts were headed somewhere.  Lasagna, would be that somewhere.  I know there are a million ways to make a lasagna, and everyone has the best, or the easiest, or the recipe that came over with their great-grandmother on a boat.  I don’t have such a recipe.  Sure, my mother (and my father for that matter) can put together a pretty terrific lasagna, but when it came time for me to put one together, I was kind of on my own.  After a lot of trial and error and suggestions from mom (WHY won’t she just tell me what she does to hers???), I came to the recipe you’re about to see.  I admit, sometimes there are variations from this, but overall, this is how I get a lasagna on the table.

Now, if you made either the turkey Bolognese or the quick and dirty pasta sauce and didn’t have any leftover, or you just didn’t make either of them, that’s okay.  The quick and dirty pasta sauce is very quick to make, and you can add some mushrooms and some browned ground meat (turkey or beef work best) and it will work fine.  I happened to have leftover Bolognese, and so that’s what I used.  What’s important is that you want about 4 cups of sauce, total.  What I love about this lasagna recipe is that it could very easily work on a weeknight, whether you had some sauce made ahead of time or not.  Boil the noodles while the oven heats, and stir together the sauce quickly (speed it up even more by skipping the browned meat, and there’s no need to let it simmer because it’s going into the oven).  It also freezes very well, so you could make it ahead of time completely, cover it and freeze it and then put it into the oven during the week.

lasagna

Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. weeknight Bolognese sauce
  • 2 C. quick and dirty pasta sauce
  • 1 10 oz. box lasagna noodles
  • 2 C.  shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese (whole or part skim, not fat-free)
  • 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil lasagna noodles according to package directions, drain, and lay out flat on a plate until cool enough to handle.

Combine the Bolognese and the quick and dirty pasta sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 1/2 C. of the mozzarella, the ricotta, the egg, and the Parmesan and stir to thoroughly combine.

Spread 1 C. of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.

Top the sauce with a layer of noodles (I find that 4 noodles fit across).

Put 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles.

Put 1/2 C. of the sauce on top of the cheese layer.

Layer 4 more noodles on top of the sauce, then 1/3 of the cheese mixture, then 1/2 cup of sauce and repeat for one more layer.

Put a layer of noodles on top of the sauce, and finish with the final 1/2 cup of the sauce.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C. of mozzarella on top of the sauce.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Makes 16 servings.

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