Hey Look! I Cooked Something! 2

Cheese Lasagna 

 

This week has been kind of crazy so I wanted to cook something that would give us leftover for lunches and dinners for more than a day: enter cheese lasagna. I forgot to snap a picture of it but I will share my recipe. Please note that I am from a Italian/Sicilian background on my mother’s side so I don’t believe in using cottage cheese in lasagna or melting Kraft singles on the top (you sickos know who you are.)Besides that, there are very few rules with this basic recipe. It would be easy to add meat or veggies to it. There is a lot of room for variation but the basic recipe I am putting here is pretty simple. The problem comes from the fact that it is a recipe I got from my mom and both of us (and even my little old Italian grandma) cook (and give any sort of directions) based on things like “You know..buy the big container and use most of it” Our recipes work great but good luck to anyone trying to follow it. 

1. Locate the  baking dish you own  big enough to hold lasagna noodles. If you kitchen is organized like mine, this may take time.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Boil water in the biggest pot you own (may also take time because you may have to hand wash it because it somehow managed to avoid its turn in the dishwasher after being used to make corn on the cob the night before.) 

4. When water is boiling add one 16oz package of lasagna noodles. DO NOT BREAK THEM IN HALF TO FIT IN THE POT! Give them a minute and they will cook down enough to fit. 

5. While the noodles are cooking mix together one large (little over 4 cups) container of ricotta cheese (no you cannot substitute with cottage cheese, it isn’t the same. Stop kidding yourself), two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/4 of a cup of grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend, two table spoons of dried parsley, and two eggs. You can adjust the filling as you like it. Some people like Italian seasoning blend instead of parsley, I think that blend is too strong. I’ve seen some people use four eggs instead of two but since all the eggs do is hold it together I feel like that is more calories for the same result. 

4. When noodles are done (just like any pasta…firm and not mushy) strain them and run cold water over them to keep noodles from sticking together.

5. Put a small amount of your pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking dish to keep noodles from sticking. No spray required. For sauce I use Prego or Ragu original depending on which one is cheaper/available.  I use a plain original pasta sauce because I think this recipe gets enough flavor from the cheese but if you like something else, use it. I recommend getting the extra large plastic jar size because you will need a lot of sauce.

6. Layer noodled horizontally down the dish.

THIS IS WHERE MEASURING ENDS!!  KITCHEN ANARCHY AHEAD!!! 

7. Spoon on several globs (it’s the technical term, I swear) of the cheese mixture and pour on some sauce. I like to spread them around with a plastic spatula to get it even. Don’t be shy about using a lot of sauce. I always ended up using less than I should because before it cooks the noodles look like they are swimming in sauce; trust me when it cooks it will work just fine. Cover with another layer of noodles.

Repeat this until you can’t fit any more in the pain. Use up all the cheese mixture before the top layer.

8. On top of the last layer of noodles pour the remaining sauce and any extra mozzarella and Parmesan/Romano cheese blend that you want. I put a lot of cheese on the top but I like cheese. 

9. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the top is golden, which with my oven happened around a little before 45 minutes so keep an eye on it. We’ve lived here for almost a year now and I am still trying to get the hang of this oven. Three years of using the Polly Pocket sized oven that took forever has conditioned me to over cook things in the human sized oven we have now. 

 

Note: I think this lasagna is even better the next day. I packed some in my lunch the next day. We were able to get dinner for two people for two nights and lunch for two people for one day out of this recipe. 

 

 

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