Every once in a while I like to mix things up in the dinner department. OK. Who am I kidding? I’m constantly exploring in the kitchen. The kitchen has always been my place for relaxation and part of that relaxation means freeing myself up to explore and be creative. I know some people are afraid to change things up with recipes, but I say go for it. Have fun!
Recently I decided to make lasagna on a weeknight.
I know. Seems like a crazy idea for a busy mama like myself, but I decided to let go of the stressful and labor intensive lasagna making ways I’m used to and make it as simple as possible. I started off by using no-boil noodles. Some of you might be shrieking at the notion of no-boil pasta, but I assure you, they ROCK and it cuts preparation time in half making lasagna a totally doable weeknight meal. Love. This.
The other change I made was to bake it in an 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan. I did this partly because I didn’t want a huge pan of lasagna and partially because I thought it would be fun to make a loaf out of lasagna. The idea worked out beautifully if I do say so myself and is actually the perfect solution for those of you looking for a smaller scale lasagna recipe to feed 2-4 people. Make this tonight!
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons pesto, optional
1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce,
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In an 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan, spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom. Top with one sheet of no-boil lasagna and then spread with 1/4 cup of the ricotta mixture. Pour on a few tablespoons of the pasta sauce, then top with a few tablespoons of parmigiano cheese and mozzarella. Repeat the layering, reserving a good 1/4 cup pasta sauce and cheese for the final top layer.
3. Press down slightly. Spread the remaining pasta sauce on top of the last noodle, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmigiano cheese.
4. Cover with foil and bake the loaf about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes making sure the noodles are fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
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