Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lazy Lasagna

Lazy Lasagna
Matt's Wife's Lazy Lasagna
Matt's Lazy Wife's Lasagna
Four Pound Pasta

Call it what you will - this dish is quick, easy, and yummy. It's family friendly, budget friendly, fridge and leftover friendly, and freezes very well.

And it's also one of the dishes I like to make (yeah - go back and note how many of MY posts have actually contained recipes. Um - yeah!)

So what are we waiting for? Let's get cooking!

Lazy Lasagna
1 lb pasta
1 lb mozzarella (I use part skim)
16 oz jar of pasta sauce**
15 oz container ricotta cheese (I use part skim)
oregano to taste
grated Parmesan cheese

** the sauce is the primary source of seasoning in this dish, other than the oregano. If you like garlic in your pasta dishes, I recommend a garlic based sauce rather than adding raw garlic because there is really no chance for raw garlic to get cooked and for that flavor to mellow. I was in a cheesy mood this go round, so chose the Four Cheese sauce. Diavolo is also a nice spicy variation.

1. Bring one gallon of salted water to a boil in a six quart (or larger) pot. Add your pasta, and cook as directed on the box. Try not to over cook the pasta, as it'll pull some moisture from the cheese sauce. Also, don't pre-cook your pasta. You'll need the heat from the freshly drained pasta to help melt the cheese. (hmm -this sounds like Matt's mac-n-cheese - but he says it so well!!)

2. Shred the mozzarella. You could use a food processer for this, but I like doing it by hand.

3. Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the cheese for later.

4. Combine the ricotta and shredded mozzarella together in a LARGE bowl. You will be mixing everything in this bowl, so give yourself some extra room. I like a stainless bowl, as the tomato sauce will stain a plastic bowl.

5. Drain the pasta and add it to the cheese mixture. Mix everything together thoroughly. Don't give the pasta a chance to cool down -the heat of the pasta will help melt the cheeses and make everything combine more uniformly.

6. Add the jar of pasta sauce to the cheese and pasta mixture. Add grated Parmesan and dried oregano to taste. **if you crush the dried oregano between your hands before adding it, it will release more of it's flavor.

7. Mix thoroughly to combine. Mixture should be on the wet and sticky side.

8. Move the mixture into a large casserole and top with the remaining shredded mozzarella. (nnd of course you can never go wrong with even MORE shakey cheese aka grated Parmesan)

9. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly and melted.

Serve and enjoy!!!


Higgins Design Studio said...

Interesting that you don't add the egg to the cheese mixture... but it sounds yummy - comfort food! Or at least one of them!
Love you!

Karen said...

Brings back memories of eating at Grandma's! Yummy! I need to make this for Thanksgiving since I hate Turkey Day food! :)