Monday, October 4, 2010

Lasagna night

Tonight, it's lasagna night. It's finally cooling into the 50's in the morning here in Austin but still up to the 80's in the afternoon. I have a hankering and lasagna it is. A couple of quick supplies at the store, a jar of my favorite marinara, ricotta and mozzarella. I have frozen meat sauce, parmesan, eggs and noodles at the house. Lasagna has fallen into the "that which needs to be made when you have the whole day" and really, that's completely wrong. 45 minute drive to get home, walk in the door at 4:20, game on.

There are no amounts here because I don't know how much sauce you have in your freezer, how cheesy you like things and what size pan you feel like making.

I usually do this as roll ups but it was just quicker to do it as a more typical lasagna, next time I'll do the rollups and take pics because they're so much easier to handle after the fact and freeze in smaller portions so you can feed one or 20.

Here's tonight's game:

Put kettle on when I walk in the door, place large pan beside kettle and empty contents of lasagna noodle box into the pan. It's a 9x13 metal pan, this is merely a soaking vessel. I don't cook the full cook noodles before I assemble but rather let them soak in hot water until they become limp.

Turn oven to 400

Get sauce out of freezer and throw in microwave - get it to slightly warmer than room temperature.

DING, Kettle boiling! Pour the water in to cover the noodles, leave 15 minutes.

In large bowl, combine the ricotta (36oz container) a handful of parmesan, a handful of mozzarella and an egg. Stir like heck and add pepper, nutmeg and raw baby spinach chopped up small - yummy.

Open jar of marinara, insert spoon and place on assembly bar. Pour large glass of wine and enjoy a sampling, you've had a rough day and this is a good pause spot.

DING, the sauce is warm, noodles sufficiently soaked, let's party!

Layer in a 9x13 glass dish, sauce, noodles, cheese, meat sauce, parmesan, noodles, marinara, mozzarella. Repeat as many times as you like, convention says 3 layers - yeah, I do 4.

Cover the whole thing with the remaining marinara and cover liberally and luxuriously with mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover with tinfoil, place on sheetpan (this WILL bubble everywhere) and shove into the oven. It should be bubbling all over within about 35-40 minutes, remove the foil and let it go another 15 or so till it's brown and gooey. I add more cheese for the last 15 because this isn't diet food, now matter how big a salad you serve with it.

Pour another glass of wine, tidy up the counters. Text with your friend, check your Facebook or read a blog, relax. Within 29 minutes, dinner is in the oven and you're off duty for the rest of the night.

As I type this, I'm waiting for it to come out of the oven so more pics will follow. Oh and the wine is a Chilean Merlot - Frontera.

Husband texted me he was going to be late so I sent him these pictures. I'm kind of sweet like that and son had two servings. We are solidly in preteen land.

ya, it was that good. Make it, in the middle of the week, you'll be happy.


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