My brother had a very specific request for me to make lasagna, a wish I was more than happy to grant :) I made a five-minute trip to the farmer's market on Saturday morning (no, seriously-- it was five minutes. Sadly, we arrived AS the vendors were packing up!) so I only had the chance to grab four things: a gorgeous bunch of basil, some garlic, a very large onion, and a pound of fresh green beans.
I can usually improvise quite well, though, so I felt good about the kitchen odds :) I made the lasagna the way my mom made it when we were growing up, except this time, I added Ricotta and Parmesan cheese. It was so fun teaching Mattie how to do it. I felt like I was passing on a family tradition or something, ha!
Loaded with mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses, this meaty lasagna is everything that pasta-lovers' dreams are made of! I served it with crispy stir-fried garlic green beans (which were absolutely DELICIOUS--but a recipe for another day).During my trip, I enjoyed (among other things) some quality time in the stunning outdoors that is the Pacific Northwest, a full-body exfoliating treatment followed by a lotion massage at the spa where my sister-in-law works, a toffee-nut mocha at a super cute coffee shop called Atticus, a luxurious (and DESPERATELY-needed) pedicure and several mimosas with Mattie, playing in a gigantic red wagon in downtown Spokane, as well as "running" with some statues who apparently appreciate "The Joy of Running Together."
I made a beautiful new friend named Cyndee in the airport, took a big bus tour of San Francisco, nearly got blown away at the Golden Gate Bridge...and of course, I planted millions of kisses on a sweet baby girl. It was a most successful trip overall :) Can't wait for the next one!
- Nine lasagna noodles
- Two pounds ground beef , thawed (you may substitute ground turkey, Italian sausage, or other ground meat--your preference)
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/2-2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce (I don't have a homemade sauce recipe yet!)
- 8-12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1-2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 15 ounces Ricotta cheese (we used an entire container)
- Salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and other spices to taste
Preheat oven to 350 and very lightly spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. (The cooking spray is not entirely necessary, but helps to keep the cheese ad noodles from sticking to the pan).
Add onion and garlic to a pot or pan with olive oil; saute until fragrant; about two to four minutes (garlic should be golden; not burnt!). Add the ground beef and brown until fully cooked; drain the fat and return to skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. Add pasta sauce to the cooked meat and heat until bubbling; reduce heat and allow to simmer for ten minutes or so.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes; cover with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until mozzarella cheese is fully melted and lasagna is heated all the way through. Garnish with basil (optional, but makes for pretty pictures!) and ENJOY!