Mmm…lasagna

Decided to use up that excess spinach in a nice lasagna.  It worked out very well, despite my not having quite enough pasta for the traditional (at least in my kitchen) three layers of noodles.

I used 2 pints of the tomato sauce we canned from last summer’s garden.  Four cheeses:  Riccota, Parmesan, mozzarella, and a generous grating of asiago.  I ransacked the freezers for some Italian sausage to no avail, but did uncover a package of ground pork so I made my own “Italian” sausage.  Mince a couple of cloves of garlic, sprinkle in some dried basil, oregano, thyme, and fennel seed.  Salt and black pepper to taste, as well as some red pepper flakes.  I shook in some paprika and a dash of cayenne just for fun.  Mush it all together in a bowl and then brown the meat in a pan and then set aside on some paper towels to drain.

I sautéed the spinach in some garlic and olive oil, doesn’t take long for it all to wilt down.  Chop it roughly after cooking and set it to drain in a sieve over a bowl.

Some recipes say mix the shredded cheeses with the riccota, others say spread them separately when assembling the layers.  I mashed all them together except for the asiago that was grated over the top.

Anyway, assemble the layers as you see fit because I bet you’ve done it before and who am I to dictate methods.  lol

I covered my casserole with foil and cooked it at 350 for 45 minutes, then peeled the foil so the top could toast a bit, say another 15 minutes.  Take it out and let it rest for a while, really, let it cool down for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with garlic toast and a nice salad:

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I set the leftover slices of lasagna out on a sheet pan lined with paper and have it in the big freezer so that I can individually wrap the frozen blocks and stow the lot of them in a big plastic freezer bag.  Makes it really easy to get out just enough to thaw and reheat for a nice lunch.

 

Sonoma Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

One of my favorite chicken salads is at Costco. This recipe is pretty close, though I’ve added grapes and tweaked the mayonnaise a bit.  The best way to serve this, in my opinion, is to wash and dry romaine lettuce leaves, top with salad, roll up and eat.  Bread seems too heavy for this dish.

Sonoma Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cups dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds,garlic powder,onion powder, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. When ready to serve, stir in chicken, pecans, grapes, Craisins, celery and serve cold.