Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Impressive Lasanga!

Last Tuesday, we had the kids from our Drake Bible Study over for a special Thanksgiving dinner.
I love those kids and wanted to come up with something special to serve to them.
I needed it to be quick, simple and tasty!
My friend Lydia made this easy lasagna awhile back and it got rave reviews.
Make this for your company...you'll love the smiles it brings!
1pkg. lasagna
1 container Ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (use Graziano's, it's the best hands down and it's made in Des Moines!)
1 or 2 jars Classico spaghetti sauce (it depends on how saucy you want it to be)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh parsley (adds freshness like you wouldn't believe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles. In bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, and eggs; mix well. On bottom of 9X13 greased baking dish, spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce. Top with half each of the lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese mixture, sausage, pasta sauce, and mozzarella. Repeat layering. Top with fresh parsley. Cover; bake 1 hour or until hot an bubbly. Uncover; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

We also had my favorite casserole on the planet: Rachael Ray's Not Lasagna Casserole. I make this more often than I would like to admit! It's our family's favorite!

Not Lasagna Casserole
1 pound campanelle (curly-shaped hearty pasta) or whole wheat penne
3 T. olive oil
1 pound mixed ground beef, pork sausage, ground turkey (I brown all 3 pound of each together and save the rest.)
1-2 large carrots, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated
Black pepper
1 large can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. basil leaves torn or 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 c. ricotta cheese
1/2-1 c. grated Italian blend cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once at a boil, salt liberally and add pasta. Cook just shy of al dente, leaving a good bite to it (6-7 minutes).

While water comes to a boil, heat 3 T. olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meat and lightly brown it, breaking it up into small bits with the back of a wooden spoon. (take out extra meat at this time if browning 3 lb. together)

Add carrot, onions, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until veggies soften, about 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock to veggies and meat and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in basil.

When the pasta is ready, drain it and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to a 9x13 casserole dish and gently stir in ricotta cheese. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake 15 minutes until the top crusts up a bit. YUM!

Here are a few snapshots of some of the kids:
Congregating around the dirty dishes!
Can you see the lovely glow these girls have?
Courtesy of Sunsation Spa Tanning Salon!Can you see the lovely glow in Laura's face?
That comes from the little bun in the oven!
Congratulations Laura and Aaron!


Following The Fosters said...

that casserole sounds amazing! i just may have to try that! gotta love rachel ray!