Lasagna can be a tedious meal. Usually involving making tomato sauce, cooking ground meat, pre-cooking noodles, assembling and then baking for about an hour. After all that the results are so rewarding. Its a warm comfort food full of delicious flavours. I’ll show you two ways to make lasagna!
To create a home made traditional lasagna start by creating a quick and easy tomato sauce. I used some shallots, carrots and garlic as the base.
Cook these ingredients by sautéing them in olive oil in a sauce pan or cast iron pot. Once they are tender (test the carrots with a fork), add a can of crushed tomatoes. I like getting canned tomatoes with no salt added. We can add more salt but we can never take away salt. I also added a generous amount of oregano, basil and a dash of cumin. To get a sweeter more full tomato taste add some tomato paste! Season with salt and pepper and then let this simmer until you are ready to use it.
In the meantime, take your ground beef and start sautéing the meat. Start with sautéing some garlic and olive oil in the pan. When the garlic starts to smell fragrant add the ground meat and break it down in the pan with a spatula. Cook until it is brown.
In a pasta pot, start boiling some water with a generous sprinkle of salt. We want to make sure we don’t lose flavour and to prevent that we want to make sure the pasta is salted.
Boil the lasagna noodles just for 2-3 minutes. We want it undercooked so that it can absorb the tomato sauce and juices from the meat!! You can even use uncooked pasta noodles if you have really runny sauce.
My favourite addition is to add some spinach. For convenience, I use frozen spinach and an egg. The egg helps bind the spinach when it cooks. Mix the egg in well.
Now that you have all the ingredients to make lasagna, its time to assemble!! Start with a generous scoop of tomato sauce. This is the secret to preventing your pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add your first layer of pasta and then add another layer of tomato sauce. On top of the tomato sauce, add a layer of ground beef.
The last couple of layers would be some ricotta cheese and then the spinach mixture. Alternatively you can use cottage cheese in place of ricotta.
Add another layer of pasta noodles and repeat! There may not be anymore spinach but that ok because you already have a nice layer. At the very top, make sure you have a layer of tomato sauce (you don’t want the pasta to get hard when baking) and then add a nice thick layer of cheddar cheese.
Bake in a 375 degree oven with tin foil for about 30 minutes and then uncover and bake for another 25-30 minutes until the tomato sauce bubbles and the cheese browns.
Lasagna does take a good 3 hours to make unless you are quick. Not everyone has time to do it so here is a quick and elegant version of lasagna.
To make these, I use wonton wrappers as the pasta and used canned tomato sauce. (I also bought pre-grated cheese) Easy!
Start by putting some oil in a muffin tin. This will prevent the wonton wrappers from sticking to your tray. Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin spot.
Add a small dollop of ricotta cheese and then a generous pinch of cheddar.
Put a spoon of tomato sauce in each wrapper. Don’t put a lot as the wonton will get too soggy and it will lose its shape.
Add another layer of wonton wrapper and repeat the above. Ricotta, cheddar cheese, pasta sauce. At the very top add another small spoon of pasta sauce and top with more cheddar cheese! Voila! That was easy.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes until the wrappers are brown and the cheese has melted. Let it cool for a couple minutes before you take it out of the tin.
Decorate with a bit of chopped basil and there you have it, a gorgeous take on lasagna.
Kristin’s Traditional Lasagna RecipeIngredients:
- 1 large shallot diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (no salt)
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 carrot
- 2 tablespoons of oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon of basil
- dash of cumin
- 1 package of lasagna noodles
- 1 package of frozen spinach
- 1 egg
- lots of cheddar cheese
- ricotta cheese
- 1/2 pound ground beef
Easy Lasagna Bites
(variation to http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/lasagna-cupcakes/973c5603-c1e4-4790-9e6a-aef378332ef2)
- wonton wrappers
- your favourite pre-made pasta sauce
- grate cheddar cheese
- basil for garnish
Check out other recipes on our blog https://eatitnoworeatitlater.com/recipe-list/