Wednesday, September 24, 2008

september 24, 2008: frugal feasts lasagna

Photo by Ken Williams of the Concord Monitor

Lasagna The Frugal Feasts Way

Basic Recipe-makes 1 11 by 15 pan, at least 20 servings.
Fewer if the eaters are really depressed.
1 32 ounce jar marinara sauce - Prego is good here, but whatever is on sale works fine
1 1/2 cups water
6 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan
16 ounce tub of ricotta cheese
small bottle Wishbone Italian dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste - approx ½ teaspoon each
1 large package no boil lasagna noodles

Mix together the jar of sauce and the water in a pitcher and set aside.In a medium sized bowl beat together the ricotta, parmesan, 3 cups of mozzarella, eggs, Italian dressing, garlic, salt and pepper and set aside.

Optional fillings

Sausage: remove skins from one package sweet Italian sausage with fennel and place in a large skillet over medium heat. Break into small pieces with a wooden spoon and cook until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce in the pitcher.

Roasted Veggies: Roughly chop 1 pound of mixed veggies (we like zucchini and summer squash but red pepper, onion and mushroom would also be delicious) into 1 inch pieces. Place on baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 375 degrees until cooked and starting to brown (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add to ricotta mixture.

Assembling the lasagna:Pour about 1 1/2 cups of sauce into the bottom of an 11X15 inch pan. Place 4 no-boil noodles in bottom of pan. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Spread another 1 1/2 cups sauce on top of the ricotta. Top with four more noodles. Top with the rest of the ricotta. Top with another 1 1/2 cups sauce and four more noodles. Cover the top with sauce, making sure that all of the top layer of noodles is covered. Cover the whole dish with two sheets with foil and seal well. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove the foil and cover the top of the lasagna with the rest of the cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and brown. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

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