Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let's talk Lasagna

Maybe it is because it can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used, whipped out in a flash and popped in the oven and ready to go. Or maybe it is because it is the ultimate crowd pleasing and most perfect embodiment of the one pot dish. It is a very easy recipe to master, because once you get it that is it. You won’t need to refer to a recipe and you can start changing the ingredients to suit your taste. Instead of Parmesan maybe smoked Gouda, instead of Italian sausage maybe a pork ragu. It lends a lot to interpretation and freely adapts to any situation. Lasagna also freezes well so making two at a time and freezing one of them always works. At the core it is a meat sauce, noodles and cheese, who doesn't love that. Lasagna is a great meal for the budget cooking family looking for a real bang for the buck. With the addition of a simple salad and bread you have meal that can become a family favorite.

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 120z cans of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of stock
1 cup of heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
12 no bake Lasagna sheets
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 cups chopped spinach
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp of stock
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 15oz container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
4 cups shredded mozzarella(divided)
1 cup of Parmesan cheese(divided)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey and turkey sausage
1/2 cup onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, spray a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds constantly stirring, add dried herbs through tomatoes and continue to cook for approximately 10 minutes until it becomes thick, the sauce should stick to the back of a spoon. Turn down the heat to low and add remainder of the ingredients and simmer for additional 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf set aside. In another sauté pan heat oil and butter over medium heat, add the 2 cups of mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic through lemon zest and continue to sauté over medium heat until fragrant about 2 minutes. Add stock and reduce slightly about another 2 minutes, remove from the pan and cool. Heat oil in same sauté that you cooked the spinach in when hot adds the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes; add meat and sauté an additional 10 minutes until no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl beat the eggs, stir in the ricotta and spinach mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan to the mixture and set aside. Spread 1/3 cup sauce on the bottom and layer 4 uncooked sheets, 1/3 cup of spinach mixture 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1 cup of mozzarella and cup of sauce. Repeat two more times. Top with Parmesan cheese and cover with foil cook for 50-55 minutes. Uncover and top with more cheese cook an additional 5 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Makes 12 servings at about $1.37 per serving.


  1. I love making lasagna! We usually make at least a couple of batches and freeze one for a "rainy day."

  2. Its that one meal that can save you money and time on. And making a extra one can insure a quick meal anytime. Add a bag of salad and some bread you are done.

  3. This sounds cool , yummo! and within budget :)

    happy Cooking :)

  4. Thank you, it is something anybody can master.