Saturday, January 10, 2009

lazy saturday lasagna

So one of my New Year's Resolutions is to eat real food for dinner. Yes, no more cereal for dinner for me! Or...only once in awhile. :) This week was Enchilada Week. Next week? Lasagna Week. Yum yum yum and nom nom nom.

So as you can probably tell from the pictures...spinach lasagna was the lasagna of choice for tonight. In attempts to get me to eat real food, my mom bought me a bag of spinach before sending me off to school after Christmas break. She'll be proud to know that this bag o' greens is going to be put to good use. Thanks, Mom. :)

Oh, and for the record...I am always in awe of how spinach cooks down to such a tiny amount. It's magic, or something!!!

Look at that! That pan was FULL to the brim of spinach. And now...I've got like 1/2 a cup. Seriously?! Oh, so serious.

Here are the lovely cast of characters for successful lasagna. Parm (aka parmesan cheese), basil, garlic, olives (which I discovered in my fridge and needed to be used), mushrooms, sauce, and cheese. Lotsa cheese. And don't forget the ricotta. It was hiding on the counter there, somewhere.

So I'm gonna have to admit, that I concocted this lasagna sans recipe. Sure, I looked at a few recipes beforehand to get a basic idea of what to do...but this is a 100% original recipe,
which I'm kinda proud of. :) Well...maybe we should see how it tastes before I go that far, haha.

So first off was the ricotta-mixture-making. All that shrunken spinach? Went into the ricotta, parm, basil, and garlic all mixed up with an hold things together, of course.

So this is how the layering-love works in a lovely 8x8-inch pan of your choice:

ricotta mixture

...and once again.

And then top the mozzarella layer with sauce, noodles, and then LOTS of sauce. This is to provide ample moisture for the noodles to cook-up in the oven and get soft.

Ohhh, look at that cheesy-goodness.


Because I made this lasagna in an 8x8-inch pan instead of a 13x9er, the noodles had to be broken. Which left me with reject mini-noodles. So what to do with these losers? Make them into appetizers of deliciousness!

I cooked the noodles, laid them out on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and then layered on the minced garlic, basil, and mozzarella. Well...more like sprinkled, rather than layered. And then they were baked at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until
the cheese was melted.

The result? A cracker-like snack that got rave reviews from the housemates. Always a good sign, in my book. :)

Lazy Saturday Lasagna
It'll make you want to nom nom nom

1 (16 oz.) bag spinach, steamed
1 (16 oz.) container ricotta
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
Sprinkling of pepper
1 (26 oz.) jar pasta sauce (Prego is delicious)
9 lasagna noodles, broken to fit into 8x8-inch pan
1 small can mushrooms
Any number of olives to your liking, sliced
As much or little mozzarella cheese you'd like

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan, garlic, basil, and pepper. Stir in spinach until incorporated, and then mix in the egg.

Spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Smear about 3 heaping spoonfuls of sauce onto bottom of pan, or until bottom is lightly covered. Lay down 3 noodles over sauce. Spread half of ricotta mixture over noodles. Top with half the can of mushrooms and half your olives. Sprinkle on the mozzarella, and cover with enough sauce until mozzarella is slightly covered, but still showing through. Repeat with 3 more noodles, and remaining ricotta, mushrooms, and olives. Sprinkle on the mozzarella, and spoon on sauce. Top with last 3 noodles, and spoon on about half the remaining sauce.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Spoon half the remaining sauce over lasagna to prevent burning. Bake for another 10 minutes. Spoon on remaining sauce and sprinkle lotsa cheese over the top. Kick up heat to 400 degrees. Bake lasagna for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and noodles are tender.

DISCLAIMER: You might need to cook the lasagna for a little noodles might not have been all the way cooked. I was planning to microwave individual portions before eating it, however, which would finish cooking-up the noodles.


Anonymous said...

OK! They look incredible! And how did the lasagna come out?

Patti said...

They were incredible! (if you are referring to the crunchies) And the lasagna came out super good. I do think it is rather difficult to mess up lasagna, though. :)