Monday, May 14, 2012

Lasagna for real.

I’m baaaaaaack!!

Thanks, Chris, for taking care of blog-business for me. xo

But before I share my Bahamian adventures, I figured I better back it up before I forget…

…that I made an ACTUAL lasagna! If you’ll recall, I tend to use the word “lasagna” loosely, and interchangeably with the word “bake”. For example, our Saving Daylight Breakfast Bake, or the Mexican Lasagna. Or I just avoid any sort of defining adjective whatsoever, like Cheesy Corn Quinoa _______. I can’t/won’t, say/eat “casserole”. Ew. We’ve all got those words we hate…that’s mine.

So as we mentioned, Jfal moved in a couple weeks ago! We’re excited to have him, and so far so good! He even likes Grey’s Anatomy now! As far as we can tell, he’s not tired of Chris and I yet. We still don’t think he knows what he’s gotten himself in to. Shhh.

A while back, when we visited Haley in Charleston, we went to Earth Fare, and I stocked up on some gluten-free sales! That place is awesome! Wish we had one in Atlanta. One of the things I got was a box of GF lasagna noodles. My mom and my aunt make amazing lasagna, and I miss it all the time and have been meaning to make some. I’ve never seen gf lasagna noodles at our normal grocery stores here in Atlanta, so I saw the ones at Earth Fare (on sale, no less), and scooped them up.

When I set out to find a recipe, I ruled my aunt’s out because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She makes her sauces from scratch, and while I wish I had the time and patience to do that…I just don’t. So naturally, I turned to Pinterest. I started with this recipe, hoping to make rolls like this. 
 I liked it because it required just a few ingredients we didn’t already have, included spinach, and seemed pretty simple.

One problem. I realized the noodles I got where the no-boil ones, meaning they soften as they bake. Sooo, no rolling was going to happen. Instead, I decided to make the old-school way. I pretty much stuck to the recipe other than that little adjustment (and a few others).

For real this time Lasagna

  • 9 gluten-free no-boil lasagna noodles. I used these.
  • 1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 1 15oz. container Part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 package of Italian chicken sausage. I used these.
  • ½ jar of your favorite pasta sauce1 ½ cups part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, Italian seasonings, chicken sausage, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. 
 Pour about 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish.

Break and piece together the lasagna noodles so that they make 3 rows in the bottom of the baking dish.

Take 1/3 of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over the dry noodles.

Repeat with remaining noodles and mixture until the dish is full. It should make about 3 layers.

Pour sauce over the top layer of noodles in the baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese.

Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Bake an additional 5-7 minutes to brown the top. 
 Serve with parmasean cheese, preferably on Wedgewood china.

The good news: the spinach + ricotta + sausage mixture was awesome! It was so good, I could have eaten it by itself.

The bad news: the noodles were kiiinnnnnda hard. I’m stumped. No-boil noodles just don’t seem normal. I’m getting regular boiling ones next time.

All in all, our meal was a success because Jfal got seconds, and we all ate it for leftovers a few days later. I really liked it with spinach in it, because I like spinach in/on/around everything. I’d love to try it with more veggies next time.

Despite a few crunchy bites and puzzled looks, I’d say my first actual lasagna was yummmayyy.

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