Friday, March 19, 2010

What's For Dinner: Three Cheese Lasagna

Last night, for dinner, we enjoyed three cheese lasagna, spinach/orange salad with poppy seed dressing. Most people must have meat in their lasagna to be happy, but my family is perfectly happy to eat this lighter version. I originally got this recipe from the American Cancer Society's cookbook but I've tweaked it quite a bit. I love this recipe because you don't have to boil the noodles before you assemble it.

I like to make my lasagna the night before, refrigerate it and then bake it the next evening for dinner. Sometimes I make two and freeze one for later. First, you assemble the ingredients. I make my sauce first. While it is simmering, I grate the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and mix the ricotta cheese mixture.

After assembling the ingredients, I cover it with parchment paper and then aluminum foil. I don't put foil directly over the lasagna because the sauce will react with it.

If you freeze the lasagna, let it thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before you bake it.

Three Cheese Lasagna
1 16oz. can diced tomatoes, don't drain
1 14oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl. parsley, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
Dump all of these ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and simmer on medium for 15 to 20 minutes.
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. oregano
Mix together in a bowl.
3/4 lb. lasagna noodles
2 cups (1/2 lb.) mozzarella cheese, grated - I use a little more :)
*In 9x13 pan, spoon just enough sauce in to cover the bottom sparingly.
*Top with noodles (I use 4 noodles)
*Cover noodles with 1/3 of the cheese mixture
*Cover that with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese
*Repeat 2 more layers
*Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil
*Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
*Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.
*Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

For the salad, I combine organic baby spinach, mandarin oranges, and sunflower seeds. Then I top it with Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbl. cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 green onion, minced
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. poppy seeds
Blend together in blender or simply shake really well. I like to make this a few hours ahead so the flavors can meld. Yummy!


I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please feel free to leave ideas and comments.