Monday, February 4, 2008

Lasagna

Now, lasagne isn't much of a native Vermont food but it's wonderful stuff and we've got lots of the ingredients for it right here in VT. Our farm share had the local ricotta and I had some of the local mozzarella here and it was a rather slow weekend so it was the perfect time to pull it all together.

I don't really like the actual process of making lasagna -- all those different components -- but I've found ways to make it easier. First is to make the sauce in big batches and freeze it. I use it for baked ziti, quick pasta dishes, etc. Mine is a simple tomato sauce, nothing fancy.

This makes a small, 8x8 pan of lasagna.


Tomato Sauce

I almost always make more than this but it's easy to multiply out based on the cans of tomatoes used. I'm hoping to be able to make and freeze a bunch when tomatoes come in season in the fall. This make s a very "bright" sauce and it doesn't have a huge depth of flavor, it's more a splash of summer year around.

1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice (not puree, it makes a difference in flavor)
1 onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
salt
pepper
basil
touch of cayenne
sugar if needed

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Drain tomatoes, throw them in the food processor until smoothish. Add to onion and garlic. Add seasonings to taste, simmer for about 10 minutes.


Ricotta Filling

1 lb ricotta (could use a little less if you'd like)
dash ground nutmeg
1 egg

Mix together


Spinach Lasagna

Tomato sauce
No cook lasagna noodles (I like Barilla because two fit perfectly in an 8x8 pan)
1 box frozen chopped spinach - thawed and wrung out
Pesto (I use about 3 T - make your own and freeze in ice cube trays to have measured amouts)
Ricotta filling
About 10oz grated mozzarella more or less to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated

Put a layer of tomato sauce in the pan. Cover with noodles, then ricotta filling, some mozz & parm. Noodles then spinach mixed with pesto topped with mozz. Noodles, then ricotta filling & cheese, noodles sauce and topping of cheese.

Of course you're free to do the layers however you like.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

I made a second one with a layer of cooked Italian sausage mixed with sauce in place of the spinach layer.

I often make a couple of small lasagna's at once so I don't have to make it often.

Rating: Excellent. The local mozzarella and ricotta are much firmer than the stuff I normally get and I really like that in the ricotta, not quite as much in the mozzarella. They're also less salty than most of the other brands. What we didn't eat I froze in single servings to be reaheated for lunches.

2 comments:

beth said...

You made lasagne! YOU BITCH!

Anne V said...

Yes I did. Not only that I brought some for lunch today. Want to join me for lunch so I can torture you a bit?