Oh man, life has been wild for the past couple of months. Working six, sometimes seven, days a week and some personal changes have kept me from getting much time in front of the computer. When life is going off the rails I often find eating is something that gets set off to the side, which is ironic given what I do for a living. I spend all day making other people food, make sure my kids get fed, and then find myself drinking a glass of water and heading off to bed at the end of the day. So, when there is something I’m interested in eating, I’m all over it. This week it’s lasagna. While I’d love to say I’d made the pasta, ricotta, and sausage by hand, the reality is time doesn’t allow for such luxuries right now and that’s perfectly ok. What I did have were pumpkin cream and tomato sauces I had made from scratch hanging out in the freezer, plus some frozen ramp greens preserved in olive oil that I froze in cubes last spring. All of that certainly makes a strong case for making sauces in large batches and canning or freezing them for later use!
To make my lasagna even easier to make, I used noodles that don’t require being boiled and pre shredded cheese. Now, I know the cheese has stabilizers and preservatives in it and that there’s something that’s probably equally as bad about the par cooked noodles, but when time is in short supply and life is stressful, eating a homemade meal takes precedence over some other things. So onward and upward we go.
- 1 package par cooked noodles
- 1 quart sauce–tomato or cream sauces are equally tasty, pesto is a lovely addition
- 1/5# sausage
- 1 1/2-2# shredded cheese–mozzarella, parmesan, provolone blend is best
- 1 pint ricotta
- you can add mushrooms, olives, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, thin sliced squash, or anything else that suits your fancy
- preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Pour a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 8×12 cake/casserole/baking dish
- layer enough noodles to cover the bottom, pour enough sauce over the top to coat (reserve enough sauce for each layer
- spread a layer of cheese over this (reserve enough for each layer, plus the top)
- continue to layer all of you ingredients in this way until your dish is full
- pour the remaining sauce over the top, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes
- remove the foil and sprinkle enough cheese to just cover, return to oven and bake 15 more minutes or until the cheese is starting to brown
I recommend putting your dish on a baking sheet, just in case your sauce spills over. It’s far easier to clean up a baking sheet than a dirty oven!
Serve with a green salad if you have the wherewithal to get that far and regardless, enjoy your lasagna!