Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods, and I think it’s safe to say that everybody loves lasagna. To make it from scratch, the traditional way, is a big question mark, nobody has the time to do lasagna. Perhaps after I shared you today my easy lasagna, which is uncomplicated, no chopping involved, and a breeze to put together, you will think twice about delaying lasagna for a weekend treat. You can have lasagna any day of the week, any hour of the day.
My old lasagna recipe has more than 20 ingredients and the recipe calls for preparing the white sauce or bechamel sauce, I too will have to wait for the weekend to do my traditional lasagna. Today’s store-bought ingredients like packaged shredded cheeses and mixes ease the making of lasagna. Let’s start with the lasagna noodles, it is largest in the family of pasta, and like any dried pasta, cooking the pasta properly will spell the difference between a good or bad pasta dish. Boil lasagna in plenty of water so it cooks evenly and won’t stick together. Boil lasagna to almost al dente, firm to the bite but cooked through. Drain it immediately, and this time we RINSE lasagna unlike if we are doing a spaghetti dish in which we don’t want to remove the coating of starch that helps sauce cling to the pasta. I add about 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon salt to boiling water.
“I LOVE ‘EM ROLLED” LASAGNA
16 pre-cooked lasagna noodles (1 package, 16 oz)
1 pound ground beef
2 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
few shakes of maggi seasoning
1 small packet of spaghetti-sauce mix
1 large bottle of Jufran banana catsup (available in Asian aisle)
pepper to taste (optional)
1 container (16 oz) ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Saute ground beef and sausage in a skillet until nicely browned. Add a few shakes of maggi seasoning. Remove from heat. Mix in spaghetti sauce mix and banana catsup.
In a bowl, combine ricotta, lightly beaten egg, 1 cup mozzarella cheese; set aside.
Pam-spray lasagna pan or 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
Lay noodle out flat, spread ricotta mixture over the length of it, about 2 tablespoons, then top with a layer of meat filling. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and then shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll up each lasagna noodle from short end. Place rolls side by side in the prepared pan, seams side down. Pour any remaining meat filling over rolls. Cover with foil. (You can refrigerate for 2 days or plastic wrap and foil and freeze for 2 months, don’t forget to thaw 24 hours in the refrigerator before baking it).
Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Bake another 5 minutes till cheese melts. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with garlic bread or mixed green salad. Enjoy!
1) Of course you can substitute ground chicken or turkey for the ground beef.
2) Individually wrap lasagna roll ups in saran wrap, freeze them and at night, while watching Survivor,America’s Next Top Model, The Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars, you can heat it up in the microwave for just over 2 minutes, and dinner’s ready!
3) Of course you can also use store-bought spaghetti sauce instead of banana catsup and throw in shakes of Worcestershire sauce.