I sat down on my couch tonight to write a blog post. Guess what? My body has a case of the sniffles and refuses to allow my brain any sort of clarity.
Sooooo you all get my recipe for LASAGNA!!! Enjoy and hopefully my body will have recuperated by tomorrow so that I can finish one of the six posts I started today....
First: boil the lasagna pasta until a little below al dente. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. I know rinsing with cold water is bad for nutrients and all, but I don't really eat lasagna for the nutrients so I say rinse away!
Second Component: Filling! This I vary almost every time I make it. I always start by sauteing about 2-3 cloves of garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and then put in about half of a large diced sweet yellow onion, a packet of frozen spinach, a chopped broccoli crown (including the stem), and mushrooms. Sometimes if I'm feeling craaaazy I'll put in some zucchini, squash or toasted pine nuts, or sometimes ground turkey. I salt and pepper this mixture until it tastes yummy just on its own, and the veggies are still a little firm.
Third Component: Sauce. I usually buy Barilla, but really any sauce is fine. For lasagna my grandmother used to say that you don't really have to make sauce because theres already a ton of other variable fillings in a lasagna, and methinks she's right. I also usually only use one regular sized jar, but I don't like a lot of sauce, so more is good too. More just makes a bigger mess when you eat it though.
Fourth Component: Ricotta. Mmmmmm. Mix one large egg and some dried oregano (I'd say approx 1-2 tablespoons) into one large tub of the ricotta of your choice.
Fifth Component: Shredded Mozzarella cheese. Buy one to two large bags, depending on how much cheese you like.
Sixth Component (only for the top of the lasagna): Wedge of Peccorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese. I prefer the Peccorino because it doesn't go bad for a realllllly long time, and really you don't need the whole wedge for just one lasagna.
Then: LAYER! It's my favorite part! Like a craft project. Put a little sauce to coat the bottom so the lasagna doesn't stick, and then a layer of pasta, layer of ricotta (spread evenly over the pasta with the back of a spoon, not just in dollops), then veggies, sauce (spread evenly again) and mozz cheese. I've found that this layering process makes the least amount of mess, but that's another thing that's open to interpretation. Its gonna taste the same no matter how you layer the thing. Usually its about three layers, and I go right to the top of my baking pan.
The top of the lasagna, I just put a thin layer of sauce and about half a cup of the mozz, or whatevers leftover from the bag, but not enough to cover the sauce. I then shred the Peccorino liberally over the top to complete covering the sauce.
Cover in foil, and bake in the oven at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. Then take the foil off and bake until cheese is golden brown. Yum yum. You've got yourself a lasagna!!!