Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lovely Lasagna

I made a terrific lasagna last night, if I can say so myself.


My new favorite discovery is no-boil lasagna noodles. (I know, where have I been?) I don't make lasagna very often because it always seems like such a process, boiling the noodles, adding the layers -- and making stuffed shells or lasagna roll-ups seemed more fun.  But, now with oven-ready noodles (I like Ronzoni's the best), I can have the lasagna prepped in less than 15 minutes and on the table about an hour later (or, just put it in the fridge to bake the next day). I can even make two and pop one in the freezer after baking. The following recipe is using a 9x9 baking pan (there are only two of us), but you could easily double the ingredients for an actual lasagna pan-sized lasagna.

Easy Cheesy Lasagna


Ingredients:
About 1 lb. ground turkey
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Dried oregano and basil
1 15 oz. tub ricotta cheese (not skim)
1 6.5 oz. tub garlic & herb cheese spread (Alouette makes a good one)
1 24 oz, jar good quality marinara or tomato basil sauce
1-2 boxes no-boil lasagna (one should be fine, but you should have enough sheets to make at least 6 layers)
1 16 oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese



To Do:


  • Season the turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs to taste, then brown and drain any excess liquid, then return to the pan. Stir in about 1 cup of the sauce, adding more if needed, until the meat is coated with it, but the mixture is not runny. Set aside.
  • Mix the ricotta and cheese spread in a bowl until blended, set aside.
  • Use a few tablespoons of the sauce and coat the bottom of your pan.
  • Cover the bottom of the pan with lasagna sheets -- you may need to use more than one, or break a second one into a smaller piece to fit the space. It doesn't have to look pretty -- no one will see it.
  • Spread a generous layer of the cheese mixture on top of the sheets, then top this layer with another round of lasagna sheets.
  • Cover with 1/2 of the meat/sauce mixture and top with another round of pasta.
  • Add another layer of the cheese mixture, and this time top with a couple handfuls of mozzarella, then cover with lasagna.
  • Add the rest of the meat mixture, and top it with a handful of mozzarella, then cover with lasagna sheets.
  • Add one last round of the cheese mixture (if you have extra left over, use on crackers or bagels, or stuff in crescent rolls before baking) and cover with lasagna sheets.
  • Cover the top sheet with sauce, spreading it all over the top and sides -- you want the entire lasagna covered in sauce, which is why it's important to use a good, thick sauce.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese --let no spot go un-cheesed.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 60 minutes.  Cover with foil for the first 45 minutes, then remove foil so top layer of cheese gets browned and gooey, dark crunchy spots are good.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving with garlic bread and green salad.

Tasty. Easy. (And a little messy.) 
Gotta love it.
xoxox

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