Monday, January 7, 2008
Easy Does It Lasagna
This past weekend was cold and rainy here in Southern California so what better way to beat the rainy day blues than by cooking up, and then eating, a big plate of lasagna? I've made lasagna a few times in the past but I have to admit, it sure has been a long time. I think it's because I tend to think of lasagna as a labor-intensive dish with lots of little ingredients that I just don't have time for. Well, this recipe I used was actually quite the opposite as it required only a few ingredients, and best of all was healthy and delicious. I got it right off the box of Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta by the Ronzoni company. What I loved about the recipe was that it was quick, and even though these were not "no-boil" lasagna noodles, boiling the noodles was not required. Isn't that cool? Simply throw all the ingredients together and stick it in the oven. About 50minutes later, you will be indulging in a hot, cheesy, comforting plate of good stuff that is actually good for you too.
Healthy Harvest Easy Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef
3 cups (26oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 and 3/4 cups (15oz container) ricotta or small curd cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8oz)--I used part-skimmed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
9 pieces uncooked lasagna noodles
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F; in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat and then drain the fat. Add the spaghetti sauce and water. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. While meat sauce is simmering, stir together the ricotta cheese, one-half mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
3. Pour about 1 cup sauce on bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 UNCOOKED pasta noodles lengthwise over the sauce; cover with 1 cup sauce. Spread one-half cheese mixture over sauce.
4. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce, and cheese filling. Top with layer of lasagna and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
5. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to stand for 10minutes before cutting.
Makes 12 generous servings.