Lasagna

I like to make lasagna on a weekend so it’s available for a weeknight dinner.  (It’s easier to manage if it has had a chance to set in the refrigerator.)  We have discovered that if you cook it, chill it and then cut into squares, you can freeze the squares on a sheet pan with space between them.  You can then freeze the pieces in freezer bags without them sticking together.  These are a few of our favorite lasagnas:

Classic lasagna

  • 1 package lasagna noodles cooked per package instructions and drained
  • 4 cups tomato sauce (I used a mix of Graul’s homemade marinara and their bolognese)
  • 1 large container ricotta cheese mixed with 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan.  Top with a layer of noodles, more sauce, ricotta and mozzarella.  Repeat with another layer of noodles, more sauce, remaining ricotta and mozzarella.  Top with one more layer of noodles, remaining sauce and Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover lasagna.  Bake covered for 30 minutes.  Then remove foil and bake a remaining 10.

Eggplant lasagna

  • 3 large eggplant, skin removed from one side and then sliced about 1/4 ” thick
  • olive oil
  • 16 oz shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb sweet italian turkey or chicken sausage (removed from casing)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 425.  Spread eggplant on baking sheets and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Let sit for about 30 minutes and then wipe with a paper towel.  (The salt will sweat some of the liquid out of the eggplant.)  Brush eggplant with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes until golden brown.

While eggplant is cooking, heat about 2 TB of olive oil in a heavy saucepan.  Sauce onion until translucent (about 3 – 5 minutes).  Add garlic and cook stirring for about 30 seconds.  Add red pepper flakes and sausage.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring often until sausage is cooked through.  Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.

Combine ricotta with 1 oz of the Parmesan cheese, the egg and basil.

Assemble lasagna in a 9 x 13 pan.  Start with a thin layer of sauce, then eggplant, ricotta, Mozzarella, sauce.  Add another layer of eggplant, ricotta, Mozzarella sauce.  Then a layer of eggplant, ricotta, Mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil (spray with Pam first) and bake at 375 for 15 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.

Mushroom Lasagna

  • 2 Tb butter
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 pounds assorted mushrooms (I used cremini, shiitake and oyster but use whatever you like), cleaned and sliced
  • 1 package dried Porcini mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 lb Fontina cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

In a heavy skillet, melt butter and olive oil.  Saute shallot until soft.  Add mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally about 15 minutes.  Add wine and cook an additional minute.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.   Add dried porcini mushrooms and boil 5 minutes.  Strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter, reserving stock.  Rinse mushrooms and add to mushrooms in skillet with reserved stock.

Add milk and half and half to mushroom mixture and simmer about 5 minutes.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

Butter a 9 x 13 pan and spread with 1 layer of lasagna noodles.  Top with half of the mushroom mixture and half of the cheeses.  Add another layer of lasagna noodles and remaining mushrooms and cheese.  Top with lasagna noodles.  (I dotted the top with butter and additional Parmesan cheese but next time I would brush with melted butter and/or olive oil to keep from getting too crisp.)

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes covered with aluminum foil and then 15 minutes uncovered.  Serve hot.

Seafood Lasagna

  • 1 package lasagna noodles, cook according to package directions and drain
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp, steamed and peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup Alfredo sauce (store bought or homemade – I made mine by melting butter and cooking with half and half and Parmesan cheese)
  • 2 lbs crab meat
In a lasagna pan layer ingredients as follows – 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 5 overlapping lasagna noodles, 1 cup tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, shrimp, 6 oz mozzarella cheese, 5 overlapping lasagna noodles, 1 cup Alfredo sauce, crabmeat, 5 overlapping lasagna noodles, remaining tomato sauce and remaining mozzarella.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
This is best if you cook it the night before and let it set in the refrigerator overnight.  Reheat desired portions and freeze remaining pieces.
NOTE: You could reduce the calories tremendously by eliminating the Alfredo sauce layer – it is very rich (but it really goes well with the crabmeat!)  🙂  You could reduce the cost by substituting fish or scallops for the crabmeat.  Or you could just do shrimp and tomato sauce and cheese and skip the Alfredo and crabmeat.  Experiment based on what you like.

About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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