Lasagna is perfect cold weather food. It’s flavorful, hearty, hot, heavy and oh so satisfying. You can dress it up with wine and a baguette or you can dress it down with paper plates and a cold beer. Any way you eat it, it’s good stuff. I’ve come up with a lasagna recipe that is a melange of various recipes I’ve tried over the years. So, this is sort of my “ultimate” version if you will. It’s easy to prepare and there is a lot of flexibility to the ingredients so you can really make it any way you want.
1 box no boil lasagna noodles (these cut the prep time in 1/2. awesome!)
1 small container ricotta cheese
1 small container low fat cottage cheese
veggies (here’s there you can get creative- onions, bell pepers, tomatoes, garlic, roasted red peppers, spinach, mushrooms, anything you like!)
1 jar organic, low sugar spaghetti sauce ( or you could make your own ahead of time)
shredded mozzerella and parmesean cheese ( a couple of small handfuls of each)
basil/oregano/salt/pepper ( a dash of each)
First, saute your veggies in a pan with a little evoo and season to taste. Then, in a 9×9 inch baking pan, pour just enough sauce to coat bottom. Put down your first layer of noodles. In a separate, small mixing bowl, combine all the cheeses and spices (as little or as much as you like). This is the filling part so make sure it tastes good! Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles in the pan. Top with sauteed veggies and add any extra uncooked veggies you want ( i like black olives, sun dried tomatoes, and jalepenos too!), then put another layer of sauce and noodles and repeat the layering process. Make sure to top it all off with plenty of sauce and cheese. The trick is to ration out all your ingredients so you can make about 3-4 layers. Also, don’t fill your pan all the way up. Only fill it about 3/4 of the way so that the ingredients don’t bubble over. If you have extras, use them to make a mini version in a smaller pan and then cover with foil and freeze it to eat the next week.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 min. I recommend baking with foil on top of your pan and then pull the foil off for the last 5 min so the cheese on top will melt without burning. Serve hot and enjoy! Top with red pepper flakes for a kick! Makes about 6 servings.
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