Monday, June 20, 2011

Tale of Two Lasagnas

A while ago, I shared my lasagna recipe. Sadly, I did not include many photos.

When I made lasagna on Wednesday, I later described it in a text as "epic lasagna." And I don't call anything "epic." To toot my own horn a little here, this lasagna really is that good.

As the title suggests, I made two. Well, two types—actually three lasagnas. One meaty lasagna to be eaten. One meaty lasagna to be frozen and given as a gift. And a veggie lasagna.

I'm not going to give the recipe again (it's linked above), but here are some photos of my lasagna-making run. Making three lasagnas at once is challenging, but I got this down a while ago. Add photo-taking to the mix? Holy crap.

Start by boiling water water for the pasta.

Make sure you have bread. And onions. I forgot about these onions, and they didn't make it into the lasagna. Shed a tear for us. But don't despair too much: a little birdie tells me these turned out fine anyway.

Start some hamburger cooking. I used two pounds of cheap meat (one per meaty lasagna).

Mix up cheese goo. I use a combination of mozzarella, grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and eggs.

Put a quarter jar of sauce in the bottom of each pan you're using. This will keep it from sticking.

Shake it around so that the bottom is completely covered. I didn't even spray these this time; the sauce works perfectly. The one on the right here is for my meaty lasagna for friends. The one on the left is an aluminum pan to make a gift lasagna in. Food = Great Gift.

This is me mixing up the cheese go ingredients in no particular order. Sorry my photos are out of order...

I buy cheap Italian seasoning and go way overboard with it. This has not failed me yet.

The ratios are up to you. For three lasagnas, I used two pounds of mozzarella, a large container of fat-free cottage cheese, a large container of ricotta, two eggs, about a third a cup of Parmesan and a few tablespoons of Italian seasoning.

For the veggie lasagna, I'd planned to use mushrooms and red peppers, but a few days earlier I put the red pepper into a coconut curry tofu I made for myself. So improvising, I did spinach, mushroom and broccoli. Now I want to make it this way on purpose every time. Yum!

In making cheese goo, I always dump in the cheese first. This isn't important. This is also out of order. Sorry again.

This is the cottage and ricotta cheese. Partway through, I made the executive decision to only use one container of ricotta. It probably would have been fine either way. Now I have ricotta to make into something.

Grant likes meat-flavored Ragu. My opinion is: ew. I like chunky, tomatoey healthy sauces. His opinion: ew. So to each our own in our lasagnas. Use whatever you like. Or make your own. I never make my own. As you may have noticed in my out-of-order photos, I'm often lazy.

Add the proper sauce to the browned and drained meat. For two pounds of meat, I used a whole jar of sauce. (Plus half a jar for the two bottoms and half a jar for two tops: coming later.)

 Cooked veggies and steamed spinach goodness.

I used two boxes of lasagna noodles for two lasagnas and still had about half a box left over. Personally, I like wheat noodles but didn't buy them this time.

If you're making three lasagnas, you'll have to be quick and crafty.

Put lasagna in water as soon as it boils. Add a little oil to keep from sticking if you'd like.

Earlier shots of veggies to be cooked in a little oil and butter. Stupidoutoforderphotos.

Wilting spinach. You could buy frozen or canned spinach, but this is fun! (And I am weird.)

This was a ginormous container of baby spinach. It cooked down to just enough for one lasagna.

Wilt, wilt, wilt.

Fresh spinach!

As soon as a little wilts in the hot water, add more.

It'll wilt soon, too. Keep stirring.

So pretty.

I started with just a little water in a hot saucepan.

Layer lasagna with noodles first, then cheese goo, then meat or veggie sauce layers.

See, noodles first. Sigh...

Mmm, veggie goodness layer...

Make sure to save some sauce to top this with or the top noodles will burn. I forgot this once and still have not fully lived it down.

Top it all with another layer of cheese.

And top that with a little Parmesan, and more Italian seasoning for color if you have it. This my gift lasagna to be frozen for later.

Bake until the top looks as done as you'd like. I, uh, forgot to take a picture of that... Once the top cheese is melted and starting to brown, the egg in the middle will have set perfectly. Eat up!

1 comment:

DeVeeM said...

This was not epic lasagna.

This was !!!!!!!!!!EPIC!!!!!!!!!! lasagna.

Delicious. :-D

(Thank you!)