Wednesday, December 29, 2010


    Making lasagna from scratch is definitely time consuming.  But one lasagna recipe makes three large meals for me and James.  That makes it worth the time and effort.   I assemble mine in three tall bread pans.  This time I used one glass pan and two aluminum pans.  


1 pkg Italian sweet sausage     4.38              
1 lb lean ground beef                 3.75
2 jars of pasta sauce                  1.80
1/2 onion                                      .15
2 medium carrots                       .20
1 celery stalk                               .10
1 C baby spinach                         .50
30 oz low fat ricotta cheese      2.26
2 eggs                                             .30
1/4 C skim milk                            .15
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 ground black pepper
1 box lasagna noodles                 1.58
8 oz sliced provolone                   2.36
8 oz part skim mozzarella            4.08


Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil over med-high heat.  Meanwhile cook the sausage and ground beef together in a large pot over medium heat.   As the meat browns you can chop the onions and celery.  Peel and grate the carrots.  Roughly chop the baby spinach leaves.
Once the meat is browned, remove the meat from the pot and drain.  Put the veggies into the pot to saute for about 5 minutes or just starting to get tender.  Check your water, if it's boiling then put the dry noodles into the water for 10 min.  Once the veggies are starting to soften then add back the drained meat and both jars of pasta sauce.  Once warmed through then turn off the heat and set aside.  If your sauce tastes sour, then add a Tbsp or two of sugar.  Then you get a nice sweet red sauce. 
In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, milk, pepper, oregano and nutmeg.  Stir well and set aside.
Once the noodles are ready drain them in a colander and run cold water over the pasta to cool it down.  Place three bread pans side by side on the counter.  Form an assembly line.  Pour a little bit of meat sauce into the bottom of the pans to prevent noodles from sticking.  Layer two noodles in each pan, cutting the extra with a kitchen scissors when necessary.  Next spread out two heaping spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese mixture.  Top with two large scoops of meat sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.  Repeat the noodles, ricotta, meat sauce and mozzarella two more times.  Top with sliced provolone tearing to cover.
Cover with foil.  Label and freeze the two that will be for future dinners.  One will go into the oven tonight.  If you are making the lasagna right before dinner then bake at 375 degrees for 45 min.  If baking a frozen lasagna, please thaw the fridge for two days.  Then bake from the fridge at 375 degrees for 60-75 minutes. 

It take a little time to prepare a lasagna from scratch, but it is so worth it.  You can add mushrooms or canned tomatoes to the pasta sauce for extra vegetables.  If you're substituting chopped frozen spinach for the baby spinach then thaw and drain the spinach first and add it to the ricotta instead of the meat sauce.  It works well with this recipe.  I just happened to have fresh spinach in the fridge, so I used that instead.

I made three lasagnas for $7.20 each. 

Christie aka Keeza