Pasta With Bolognese Sauce

I made a resolution to eat healthy this year, honest I did.  Not that I ate that badly last year (well, save for the string of Sunday morning donuts.)  It was just the generic new-year vow to start off on a good note.  You know, eat more vegetables, less fatty foods, make sure I get all my DV of calcium (pudding counts towards that, right?)

But then, I keep craving all these hearty, meaty foods.  Like stew. And bean burritos.  And chicken pot pie.  And this bolognese sauce.  The first time I ate this sauce, my husband spent all afternoon making it.  I had come home from a particularly arduous Friday.  Students tend to be more unruly on Fridays.  This one had been especially so.  I could smell this sauce before I even stepped inside the house.  As soon as I ate the first bite, I was hooked.  I never thought a meat sauce could be described as “velvety,” but the adjective totally fit.

 

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, November 2011

Pasta With Bolognese Sauce

Pasta With Bolognese Sauce

This recipe makes enough sauce to serve with two pounds of pasta. I usually make the full recipe, and freeze half the sauce for later.

Ingredients

2 c beef broth
1 oz box of unflavored gelatin (3 packets)
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 oz pancetta, roughly chopped
4 oz mortadella, roughly chopped (can substitute with bologna)
6 oz chicken livers, trimmed
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ lb 85% lean ground beef
¾ lb ground pork
3 Tbs fresh sage, minced
6 oz can tomato paste
2 c dry red wine (I used Chianti)
Salt and pepper
1 lb pasta, cooked to al dente with some of the cooking water reserved (something that will hold a hefty sauce)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Pour broth into a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the top and set aside.’
  2. Place onion, carrots, and celery in a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Place pancetta and mortadella into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to another bowl. Place chicken livers into the food processor and pulse until pureed. Transfer to a third bowl and chill in fridge.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ground beef and ground pork and brown, breaking up the pieces into bits. Continue cooking the meat until most of the liquid has evaporated and meat sizzles, about 15-20 minutes. Add chopped pancetta mixture and sage; cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped vegetables and cook until softened, another 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 3 minutes.)
  4. Stir in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen up any browned bits. Stir in the broth/gelatin mixture and cook until bubbling. Reduce heat to low and cook (uncovered) until sauce has thickened, about 1 ½ hrs.
  5. Stir in chicken livers, bring sauce to a boil, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, add half the sauce to the pasta along with a little of the pasta water. Toss to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/01/pasta-with-bolognese-sauce/

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Skillet Lasagna

 

I’ve seen this dish on both Josie’s blog, and more recently on Elly’s blog. I had to try it. Lasagna holds a special place in our kitchen. It is one of my mom’s favorite dishes. Whenever I bring her a batch of frozen meals, I always try to include some kind of lasagna dish. Which means, I’m always on the hunt for a good lasagna recipe. I love that everything (including the noodles) cooks in the skillet, making it a perfect one dish meal. Elly added Italian sausage to her recipe, which I look forward to trying as well.

 

adapted from Pink Parsley
originally from America’s Test Kitchen, Pasta Revolution

Skillet Lasagna

Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, with liquid
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 lb ground sirloin
10 (curly-edged) lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (see note)
½ c water
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbs chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick (or cast iron) skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook,until softened, stirring occasionally (5 to 7 minutes.) Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink (about 10 minutes.)
  2. Scatter the pasta in the skillet, then pour the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes over the top. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high, and cover. Cook at a bubbling simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 20 minutes. Keep the pan covered when not stirring. About halfway through, stir in the water. Stir the noodles frequently to keep them from clumping together or sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in half the mozzarella, all of the Parmesan, and a third of the ricotta cheeses. Dot the remaining ricotta over the noodles in tablespoons, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Transfer to the oven and broil until the cheese melts and is starts to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Notes

When breaking the lasagna noodles, I found it easiest to break each one in half lengthwise (so there was a curly edge on each piece.) Then I broke those into about 4 pieces each.

http://kokocooks.com/2012/10/skillet-lasagna/

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Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Calzones

 

I’ve said it before, but there’s something about calzones. They’re a lot more work than pizza. There’s a lot more dough in calzones, which makes them richer than pizza. But there’s something about all that wonderful, steaming hot filling encased in the perfect pocket of dough. They’re the perfect portable meal. And in the busy days we have coming up, that will be a life saver. Especially these calzones. They taste like spinach artichoke dip, only less greasy and with the added protein from the chicken.

 

I’ve always had trouble estimating the amount of filling to put in calzones. Usually I under-stuff them, which leads to way too high of a crust-to-filling ratio. So here’s my tip: put more filling than you think the dough will handle. Fill the calzone so more than half the dough is covered. The dough that gets folded over will easily stretch to accommodate the filling. And that way, the filling will balance out all the crust.

 

adapted from Cuisine At Home, August 2012

Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Calzones

Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Calzones

Ingredients

Filling
2 c diced (or shredded) cooked chicken
1 c shredded Asiago cheese
5.2 oz package of Boursin cheese
¼ c minced onion
14 oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
10 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 cloves minced garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Calzone
1 lb pizza dough, proofed
1 Tbs all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Combine chicken, Asiago, Boursin, onion, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, and pepper flakes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat oven to 450°F. (If using a pizza stone, place stone in oven before turning on heat.)
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Dust a large area of the counter with flour. Stretch dough into a six-inch round. Let rest. Stretch a little more. Place ¼ of the filling to one side of the dough, leaving a border around the edge. Stretch the dough over the filling and crimp edges to seal.
  4. Brush the top of calzones with egg (see note above.) Cut a small slit in the top of each calzone to allow steam to escape. Place calzones in oven and bake until they are browned and make a hollow sound when tapped, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

note: when brushing egg on the tops of the calzones, I find it easier to lightly dust your hand with flour, and hold the calzone in your hand rather than doing it when the calzone is on the counter.

http://kokocooks.com/2012/09/chicken-spinach-and-artichoke-calzones/

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Eggplant Parmesan

 

My son has a natural disinclination for anything remotely resembling a vegetable. My ingenious husband refers to this dish as “dinosaur eggs,” and suddenly my son is more inclined to try it. It still takes some coaxing (and maybe a little bribery), but I’m just happy that he eats at least one vegetable dish.

Whenever I make eggplant parmesan, I remember something a friend said to me: “The secret to a good eggplant parmesan is to use just a little bit of sauce.”  He then gave a ten minute lecture on the importance of not drowning the eggplant.  I see his point.  If you use too much sauce in the baking process, the eggplant turns soggy.  I found that if I follow my friend’s advice, the eggplant maintains its crispy texture achieved in the browning process.
original recipe

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
1 ½ c flour
4 eggs
1 ½ c dried bread crumbs
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano
4 Tbs olive oil
24 oz. jar marinara sauce
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Cooked spaghetti

Instructions

  1. Peel the skin off the eggplant using a vegetable peeler. Line up three shallow dishes (I used pie plates) and place flour in one, cracked eggs in second, and bread crumbs in the third. Beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are mixed. Mix in the salt, garlic powder, and oregano to the bread crumbs.
  2. Slice the eggplant horizontally into roughly ¼” discs. Coat the eggplant with the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, saute the eggplant until browned on each side. Add 1 Tbs olive oil before browning each batch of eggplant. Preheat oven to 375°. Spoon a little bit of marinara sauce into a large casserole dish, just enough to cover the bottom. Place a single layer of eggplant on in the casserole dish. Spoon a very thin layer of sauce over the eggplant. slices. Sprinkle with some cheese. Continue layering eggplant, sauce, and cheese in the dish until all eggplant slices are used. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking another 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve with spaghetti.
http://kokocooks.com/2012/07/eggplant-parmesan/

 

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Fettuccine Alfredo With Spinach and Grilled Chicken


I don’t usually post twice in one day, but I wanted to publish this right away…

I’m pretty sure Annie doesn’t know who I am. I am one of the many thousands (and thousands) of fans of her blog, Annies Eats. Every time I read a new post, I am amazed by this woman who is a doctor, wife, mother, cook, baker, cookie decorator, and all around awesome person.

On Thanksgiving of last week, Annie lost her father. Instead of sharing what I’m sure would’ve been a splendid feast, she grieved. Reading her post suddenly brought me back to 9 months ago, when I lost my father. You never expect it to happen to your loved ones. I gave my husband and son an extra hug today.


My heart goes out to Annie and her family. I wish I could give her a hug. I wish I could give her some baked goods. I wish I could give her a platter of this fettuccine alfredo. Instead, all I can do is dedicate this post to her, and let her know that she is in my thoughts.
adapted from the recipe by Bravo!

note: This recipe is based on the Pasta Woozie dish from the Bravo! restaurant chain. I added the mushrooms, but feel free to omit them if you wish. This dish uses a lot of pots and pans, but it is well worth the effort.

Fettuccine Alfredo With Spinach and Grilled Chicken

Fettuccine Alfredo With Spinach and Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

Grilled Chicken
2 c water
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
Alfredo Sauce
6 Tbs butter
16 oz. heavy whipping cream
salt to taste
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ C grated Parmesan cheese
½ C grated Romano cheese
1 egg yolk
Pasta
1 lb fettuccine
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs garlic, finely chopped
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. fresh spinach leaves

Instructions

  1. Prepare the chicken: Create a brine by dissolving the salt in the water in a gallon-sized bag with a zipper top. Place chicken inside, and chill for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and discard liquid. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the oregano, basil, and black pepper. Heat a grill to medium-high and brush grate with vegetable oil. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes on each side. Set chicken on a plate to rest. (Alternately, you could saute the chicken in a skillet if you don’t want to fire up the grill.)
  2. While the chicken is brining, prepare the alfredo sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add heavy cream, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, nutmeg, grated Parmesan cheese, and grated Romano cheese. Stir constantly until melted. Mix in egg yolk. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use, stirring every few minutes.
  3. Also while the chicken is brining, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Cook fettuccine to al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Slice chicken into strips. Add chicken, ¾ of the alfredo sauce, and Parmesan cheese to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach and let wilt a little. Add the fettuccine. Stir to combine, and cook a few minutes to heat through. Garnish with remaining alfredo sauce and more grate Parmesan cheese, if desired. (I reserve the extra sauce for the leftovers.)
http://kokocooks.com/2011/12/fettuccine-alfredo-with-spinach-and-grilled-chicken/

 

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Pasta e Ceci Soup


Happy Halloween! I didn’t do much for this holiday food-wise – sorry about that. We are definitely taking my son trick-or-treating this evening. If the rain clears up. If you’re wondering, he is dressing up as Charlie Brown. It was an easy costume to make, and it is even easier to convince him to wear it.


On Halloween, I give you something….sorta orange? I’m normally not a fan of chickpeas (the ceci part of the soup), but I really liked them in this dish! I think having all that pasta surrounding the chickpeas helped. The original directions were rather confusing, to me at least. Hopefully, I’ve simplified them and made them easier to follow.


adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Pasta e Ceci Soup

Pasta e Ceci Soup

Ingredients

3 Tbs plus ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
2 carros, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 15-oz cans chick peas, drained
6 c vegetable stock (can substitute with chicken stock)
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
8 oz ditalini or other small pasta, cooked to al dente
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino-Romano cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 Tbs olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add carrots and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and tomato, and cook another minute. Add chick peas, chicken stock, and thyme sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Discard thyme.
  2. Chop one rosemary sprig and set aside. In a large skillet, heat remaining ¼ c olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining 2 rosemary sprigs and let fry for 2 minutes. Remove rosemary, and keep olive oil warm.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop about ½ of the chick pea mixture into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Add chick pea puree to the olive oil in the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add pasta and 1 c of soup broth, and cook until warmed through. Add back to the rest of the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Pecorino-Romano cheese and reserved chopped rosemary
http://kokocooks.com/2011/10/pasta-e-ceci-soup/

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Calzones

I can’t decide which I like more – pizza or calzones. They’re essentially the same thing: dough, cheese, sauce, and fillings/toppings. Pizza has more has a higher toppings to crust ration, whereas calzones are the opposite. I guess my favorite depends on whether I’m in the mood for carbs or not.

Calzones take about the same amount of time to put together as pizza, which if you use pre-made dough is not much. I find this especially helpful on busy weeknights when I don’t have time to prep dough. My local supermarket sells pizza dough near the bakery section, in a little refrigerator along with pizza fixings.

I’m not normally a pepperoni eater, but on this occasion it sounded really good. Combined with mushrooms, it tasted great! Some of my favorite fillings are spinach, tomato, artichoke, meatball, and pineapple, although not all at once. What are some of your favorite fillings/toppings?


Original recipe

Calzones

Calzones

Ingredients

1 batch pizza dough (or store bought dough)
Filling
8 oz. mozzarella, cut into small chunks
4 oz pepperoni slices
Small carton button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
Other
1 c marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Place a pizza stone (if available) in oven. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Follow instructions for pizza dough through punching the dough down. (If you’re using store bought pizza dough, let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled, then punch down.) Divide dough into 4 equal portions.
  3. Working with one piece at a time, roll dough out to form a flat circle (or as close to a circle as you can get.) Place ¼ of each of the mozzarella, pepperoni, and mushrooms on one half of the dough. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic.
  4. Fold over the other side of dough, covering the filling. Pinch ends together, making sure to completely seal. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, spreading it to cover the surface.
  5. Place calzones on hot pizza stone and bake until browned on top, about 10-15 minutes. Check a few times to prevent calzone from burning. Let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with a side of marinara sauce.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/08/calzones/

 

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Vegetable Lasagna with Lemon Garlic Sauce


I’m still making and freezing meals for my mom. So far, she loves (or says she loves) all the food. She especially enjoyed the bean burritos, and grilled salmon with asparagus risotto.

I searched around for a veggie lasagna for my mom, and found this one. The lemon and garlic in the bechamel sauce appealed to me – lemon and garlic are two of my favorite flavors. And anything packed with noodles and veggies is fine by me.


Adapted from Hot Off The Garlic Press

Vegetable Lasagna with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

Sauce
¼ c butter
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ c flour
4 c whole milk
1/3 c fresh grated Parmesan
1/3 c fresh grated Pecorino
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable Filling
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 cloves garlic
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
10 mushrooms, sliced
½ bag baby spinach
For lasagna
Lasagna noodles
3 c shredded mozzarella
Large carton of ricotta cheese
Grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. For the Sauce: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic in melted butter for 1 minute, stirring frequently to keep garlic from burning. Stir in the flour with a whisk and cook for another minute. Whisk in the milk, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps. Heat sauce until bubbling and thickened. Reduce heat to low, add Parmesan, Pecorino, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. For the vegetable filling: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until soft. Add garlic, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms. Sauté another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To assemble the lasagna, cook noodles in batches of 4 or 5 at a time, cooking until al dente (noodles should still be a little stiff.) Pour a little sauce in the bottom of a 13x9-inch deep dish baking pan. (Alternately, I use two 5x7x2-inch baking dishes and freeze one for later.) Spread sauce so the entire bottom is covered with a thin layer. Place a layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Layer some of the vegetable filling, more sauce, then some mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles on top. Layer ricotta, vegetable filling, sauce, and mozzarella. If you have space, repeat with another layer of noodles, vegetables, sauce, and mozzarella. For the final layer, use noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Use extra sauce to serve with pieces of lasagna.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/06/vegetable-lasagna-with-lemon-garlic-sauce/

 

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Chicken Florentine


Since my dad’s passing, I’ve been wondering what I can do to help my mom. She lives a few hours away, but with our crazy work schedules, it is hard for us to go visit.


One thing about my mom is that she hates to cook. Always has. She had been doing all the cooking for herself and my dad, without much joy. I’ve been worried about how much cooking she’ll do now that it’s just her. I have horrible visions of canned soup and frozen dinners every night. So, I decided to start freezing meals for her. I’ve been setting aside a dinner-sized portion of meals that I have made. We are planning on meeting up once a month or so to deliver the meals.

This chicken florentine is right up my mom’s alley. She loves chicken, vegetables, and anything remotely Italian. Two bags of spinach may sound like a lot, but it’s amazing how much it shrinks down. The lemon added brightness and the cheese added richness to the sauce.


Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Light and Healthy, 2010

Chicken Florentine

Chicken Florentine

Ingredients

2 Tbs canola oil
12 oz (2 bags) spinach leaves
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
Salt and pepper
½ small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic, minced
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 c chicken broth
1 c milk
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Position an oven rack 5 inches from the top coils; Heat the broiler.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted. Transfer spinach to a colander and press with a large spoon or a spatula to remove excess liquid. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs of oil in the skillet. Lay the breasts in the skillet and brown on both sides. Transfer the skillet to a plate and loosely cover with foil.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour. Slowly whisk in the broth, scraping up the browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the milk. Return the chicken breasts and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook until the thickest part of the breasts reach 160 degrees, flipping the breasts halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until thickened and reduced to about 1 ¼ c, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into thick slices. Arrange in a broiler-safe casserole dish. Scatter the spinach over the chicken in an even layer. Pour the sauce over the spinach. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and broil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully so cheese doesn’t burn. Serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/03/chicken-florentine/

 

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Meat and Cheese Lasagna with Spinach

 

I love lasagna.

 
I make it differently every time – with meatballs, a very veggie version, white lasagna with chicken…As mentioned before, I made lasagna for a few sets of friends who have recently become parents. I kept this version more straight-forward, since I wasn’t extremely knowledgeable of my friends’ food tastes. I made sure to pack lots of protein from the meat and cheese, and added the spinach for an extra hit of iron. New moms need lots of energy and nutrients!


Original recipe

Meat and Cheese Lasagna with Spinach

Meat and Cheese Lasagna with Spinach

Ingredients

Meat Layer
1 small onion, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
olive oil
1 slice of hearty white bread
1 Tbs milk
1 lb ground beef
Cheese Layer
1 small carton of part-skim ricotta cheese
12 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
12oz mozarella cheese
Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 jar marinara sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
Other
Box of lasagna noodles
2/3 c grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. For the meat layer: Heat a few Tbs of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, and sauté until the onions are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, place bread and milk in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse until bread has been finely ground. Add ground beef, and pulse until meat and bread are combined. Add beef mixture to the skillet, and cook until browned.
  3. For the cheese layer: Mix the ricotta cheese and spinach until well combined.
  4. For the sauce: Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add marinara sauce and oregano, reduce heat to low, and simmer until heated through.
  5. For the noodles: Cook lasagna noodles in batches in boiling water. Cook until al dente – about 7 minutes. I found that 5 noodles were required for each layer in a 9x13 inch pan.
  6. To assemble the lasagna: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Spread a teeny amount of sauce on the bottom of the baking pan – just enough to coat the pan with a thin layer. Arrange lasagna noodles in an even layer in the pan, trimming noodles as necessary.
  8. Spread meat mixture evenly over the noodles. Pour about 1 ½ c sauce over the meat mixture. Cover with a layer of noodles.
  9. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta. Cover with a layer of noodles.
  10. Spread the remaining sauce over the top layer of noodles. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.
  11. Cover pan with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and return lasagna to the oven for another 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven, and let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

I used a 9x13-inch lasagna pan - the extra deep, one-use kind found at the supermarket.

http://kokocooks.com/2010/01/meat-and-cheese-lasagna-with-spinach/

 

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