Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fun with Lasagna

The last time I made lasagna, I said I used this recipe as inspiration, but didn't say much else. I knew it was a version of lasagna both the boy and I enjoyed, but wasn't quite perfect. But as I work towards perfection, here's my work in progress.
Spinach Lasanga
Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

1 lb lean ground beef
(I believe this box was around 16 oz?)
1/4 cup water
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed
(Be sure it actually is thawed before you actually start cooking, as I unfortunately learned!)
1 can tomato sauce (I believe it was about 15 oz.)
1 can diced tomatoes (Again, I believe it was about 15 oz. Either way, the cans were both the size of a normal soup can.)
1/2 tsp dried basil (Not pictured)
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
Slice of roasted red pepper
(Again, Not pictured)
No-Boil lasagna noodles
Shredded mozzarella
Fresh mozzarella
Shredded parmesan
Crumbled feta
(I didn't actually include this. But did sprinkle it on my leftovers as they were reheating, and it was delicious! I definitely need to make sure it's included next time.)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook ground meat until browned
2. Add mushrooms and water and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through, the water has evaporated, and mushrooms are tender.
3. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach. Add to the meat and mushrooms. Turn heat to low to keep warm.
4. In a bowl combine tomato sauce, basil, salt, and pepper.
(You could also combine the diced tomatoes here. Except my husband refuses to eat whole tomatoes, so I had to make sure none got on his half. So instead I added the just the diced pieces to my half.)
5. Dice your slice of roasted red pepper and add to sauce.
6. Spread a thin layer of tomatoes & sauce in the bottom of your dish.
(It's pretty easy to see which half is mine here.)
7. Add a single layer of noodles, breaking if necessary to fit.
8. Add a mixture of your cheeses.
(This is the layer I probably would have added feta if I had thought to include it. But from this picture you can also tell the amount of cheese on my half compared to the boy's.)
9. Top with half of sausage mixture.
10. Continue with tomatoes, more cheese, a layer of noodles. Then repeat with another layer of cheese, the remaining sausage, half the remaining tomatoes, and half the remaining cheese.
11. Top with final layer of pasta and the rest of the tomatoes.
12. Cover with foil and bake till bubbling and cooked through, around 60 to 70 minutes.
13. Uncover and top with remaining cheese. Bake until just melted.
(You really don't want to have it in the oven longer than necessary at this point, since otherwise the noodle edges will turn crispy.)

I may be slightly obsessed with lasagna, which means it's pretty hard for me to make it and not love it. But this version also pleased the boy, who isn't nearly as much of a fanatic. He did say it could be a little cheesier, although if you look at the amount of cheese on his half, I'm not sure how.

Do you have a dish you're slightly obsessed with? If so, are you able to make it to your and/or your significant other's liking?

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