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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
If you want to make an impression at your next dinner party, creating an at home pasta bar or hosting a friendly lunch, I have the perfect Italian dish for you. Yep, that’s right — lasagna. This recipe is the same day prep version but you can plan anywhere from a couple of hours ahead or as far as a week in advance if you’d like.
When you pair your version of lasagna with your own version of marinara sauce or even your favorite store bought brand of pasta sauce, a fresh salad and toasted garlic bread, you’ll love the feedback and results. Of course, you can use any type of sauce that you desire. I’ve tried a chunky sauce for other dishes like spaghetti and even chili, but for easy dipping and pizza I like to use a smoother more traditional style sauce. Some people like to use a cheese sauce or ranch sauce — I don’t have a clue why, but to each their own — or depending on the type of lasagna you’ve prepared, an Alfredo sauce.
This recipe can be made for an entire party or for individual servings. You can even use your leftover lasagna to make fritters. They will make great conversation pieces as well as a delicious appetizer. If you roll them they may cook unevenly and also are more likely to burst open while being fried. Just cut them into finger food size squares. The square shape makes it easier to handle and easier to handle in smaller portions.
Anyway you fix your lasagna you and your guests will enjoy it, I’m sure. When making lasagna there are so many possible ingredients as with many of my recipes. You can use spinach and artichokes with mushrooms and sautéed onions paired with a three-cheese Alfredo sauce. You can make a seafood lasagna with a spicy cocktail sauce or marinara. Or you can keep it simple with a ricotta cheese blend. You can even replace the lasagna noodles with eggplant! There are so many varieties of meats, cheeses and noodle types/flavors that any diet variation will be able to stomach your delicious version of Italian lasagna.
Well, it’s time to get started creating your very own version of my recipe for lasagna. It’s a fun and satisfying treat that may take a little effort but it goes a long way. So let’s roll up those sleeves, wash those hands and get started creating your own culinary art.
Reach Michelle Madden at Da Munchie Plug LLC on Facebook.
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste, you can also use seasoning salt
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper (can use yellow and red also)
1/4 cup parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil and or butter (I use both but only two tablespoons of each.)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Marinara or pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)
Lay cooked lasagna noodles flat, in an even layer, on a greased (I used olive oil but feel free to use canola, vegetable oil or butter, etc.) casserole dish or lasagna pan.
In medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 egg and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until evenly combined. Spread the ricotta mixture onto each lasagna noodle, add meat and marinara sauce mixture then sprinkle with mozzarella. Repeat in layers until casserole dish/lasagna pan is full.
Bake for 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Let rest for about 15 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
Source: Adapted by Michelle Madden