I like these hotel pans for lasagna. This one takes two pasta planks side by side and is deep enough to stack pretty high.I refrigerated this one overnight and so managed to get it out intact onto the board. It made for easy slicing with my trusty bread knife. I have ricotta in this one, with added parmesan, an egg, garlic and onion powder, basil and oregano. I had planned for three layers of pasta but it looked like another layer would work although my ricotta mixture was dwindling. The top layers are skimpy on the cheese but I did top it with plenty of mozzarella.
This dish is usually made with tenderized chicken breasts, I like the boneless, skinless thighs better. I pounded these a little but not a lot. The prep was typical, though: dredge in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, Cook in olive oil until golden, then flip. Bake, topped with sauce and cheese and serve. I like a bed of spaghetti that has been tossed in butter and good olive oil with plenty of garlic.
I’ve been growing these in a container in the patio garden. They are green bell peppers in all but name – I’m not sure what the tag said. I managed to stuff about a tablespoon or so of my Italian beef/rice filler into each one.They are cute as can be! Here they are after blanching.I went with cooked and crumbled Italian beef mixed with rice and some stewed tomatoes. Actually, I started with the stewed tomatoes – Mrs J delivered a dozen or so ripe ones that I de-skinned and boiled down with onion and jalapeno peppers. We had a regular sized green pepper in the fridge so I made sure to make enough stuffing for it, too.Mozzarella made the perfect topping, I cooked them side by side in the toaster oven, the taller pepper browning better than the minis. Since the filling was already cooked, they just needed enough time in the 375 degree oven to make the peppers tender.Each one was two bites and gone – note that they have relatively thick skins compared to other small peppers.
I’ll update the photo if I get a good one this Christmas Eve
Tossing around ideas for my Christmas Eve party and settled on lasagna this year. It will once again be gluten-free using specialty noodles. Excited to have our traditional party in the new house.
On the board:
- Spinach Lasagna
- Tossed Salad
- Garlic Bread*
This recipe takes about an hour to prepare and another hour to cook. It easily serves 6 – 8. I will make it a day ahead and refrigerate. It will need additional cooking time to bring center up to temperature.
- 3-15 oz cans tomato sauce
- 2-6 oz cans tomato paste
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp oregano, crushed
- 2 tsp basil, crushed
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 medium carrot, peeled & finely grated
- pinch of sugar (reduces acidity of the tomatoes)
- Optional: ½ lb ground beef and ½ spicy Italian sausage, browned
Add all ingredients to saucepan on medium-high, stirring constantly until it begins to boil lightly. Turn to low and let simmer while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- 1 pkg lasagna noodles (16 oz), cooked and placed in cool water until layering
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz package frozen spinach, thawed or 8 oz fresh, washed and dried
- 1 egg
- 12 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
13×9 baking dish (I prefer glass), lightly oiled
To prepare: Mix ricotta, spinach and egg until well blended. Ladle a layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Cover in a single layer of noodles. Ladle sauce over noodles. Spoon ½ of the ricotta mixture evenly (if you place large dollops evenly like putting cookie dough on a baking sheet, fairly close together, it will spread as it cooks, no need to smooth it). Layer 1/3 of the mozzarella over the ricotta. Repeat: noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, noodles. On top of the last layer of noodles, add remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered – I like to place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any spills as it bubbles. Place knife through the center, if it comes out heated through, remove and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. If it needs more cooking time, you can cover with foil to keep the cheese from burning and cook 10 more minutes. Let stand uncovered before serving.
*I’m going to purchase a gluten free loaf (we have a great local bakery for that) and I’m also going to make this Slow Rise recipe. Making the garlic bread is easy. I slice the loaves in half lengthwise, melt butter, add a healthy amount of crushed garlic and brush liberally on each loaf half. Then I top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Slice and serve.
I try to change it up each year, and I don’t know how I’m going to do this time. Maybe spinach/raspberry or a veggie toss with romaine.
Next up: Dessert Menu
I thought about making a lasagna with a bechamel sauce to carry the cheese but went with ricotta instead. Why mess with a good thing? I mixed a couple of eggs with the ricotta, a package of chopped spinach, a little shredded mozzarella, and a fair handful of Parmesan. The tomato sauce was from a jar I canned last summer, with some crumbled and browned Italian sausage. I had a loaf of fresh mozzarella to layer over the top. Worked out nicely, had a good flavor, and this time I managed to wait a little while before I plated a serving so it held together better than my usual.We bought a set of these individual sized casseroles so I made a Mrs J sized portion for her. I like the looks of the dishes and I’m going to do a mac & cheese in them one of these days.
I went to the pantry and found a quart of last year’s tomato sauce for a pasta meat sauce. I made quite a bit, adding a big onion, several peppers from the patio garden, Italian sausage, lots of minced garlic, and plenty of fresh herbs. We had it on spaghetti for lunch, leaving plenty sauce for a supper dish. TaMara’s cast iron purchase made me do this in one of my skillets. This 10 incher is just big enough for 8 ounces of cooked rigatoni with sauce and some mozzarella we had leftover from yesterday’s pizza.I noticed that a couple of the recipes I looked at called for assembling the dish in individual sized casseroles but I don’t have anything suitable so I used the pan I had. I discovered why the mention of individual portions – you need a helper with scissors to cut the mozzarella strings when spooning the pasta into bowls!