Pat and I were able to sneak in a night on the town without the kids. Saturday night we went to a wine tasting and enjoyed an evening filled with good food, great new wines, and fun with some friends. We were long overdue for a night out without the little ones. It is something that we need to do more often.
After sampling some fine food on Saturday, I got the bug to get in the kitchen on Sunday and make us some good comfort foods……
I don’t know about you, but for me, especially with my work schedule, I like to cook a few meals over the weekend, so I don’t have to rush around after work to try to put together a complete meal. If I can have a few things pre-made and ready to eat……it definitely helps…otherwise I would be serving dinner at 8pm, which would not be good.
I decided to make lasagna with meat sauce. I made a enough to make 2 medium sized trays……we cooked one and I put one in the freezer.
Here is what you will need:
3 TBSP of Olive Oil
2 Onions Chopped
4-5 Cloves of Garlic Minced
4 28oz Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
1 1b of ground meat(I like the meatloaf mix: Pork, Veal, and Beef)
1 lb of Hot Italian Sausage(out of the casing)
Salt and Pepper to taste
A dash of sugar
A dash of Red Crushed Pepper(optional)
A bunch of fresh basil
Heat the oil in a pot, add onions and cook about 5 minutes until translucent, then add garlic and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes. I usually season with a little salt and pepper. Then add the 2 lbs of ground meat and Italian Sausage. Contine to cook until browned. Add 4 cans of crushed tomatoes, a dash of sugar, and tear apart a bunch of basil and stir in. You can also add a little more salt and pepper as needed. I usually cover and simmer for at least an hour.
1 15oz Container of Ricotta Cheese
1 bunch of Parsley Chopped
Salt and Pepper
Additional Cheeses Needed
Grated Pecorino Romano
2 lbs of Lasagna Noodles Cooked according to the package.
Layer in the following order:
A little pecorino Romano
and repeat until you have your tray filled.
On the very top layer, I do the noodles, followed by the sauce and then I use shredded mozzarella. I also take little bits of butter and drop them ontop of the cheese……it helps to brown it.
Bake at 350 Degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.
Typically I make a salad to go with a hearty pasta dish like this, but I wanted to try something different, so I went with a spinach sidedish. I know that spinach is not the most popular vegetable, but I really love it if it is made the right way. This dish did not disappoint, I found it in one of Giada’s cookbooks, it was super quick and easy and went perfectly with the lasagna.
2 10oz bags of Prewashed Spinach
1 Red Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 Cup of Chicken Stock
1 TBSP of Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Pepper
1/4 tsp of Red Crushed Pepper Flakes
The Zest of one Lemon
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and the garlic and cook until almost tender, about 6 minutes. Add the broth, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Add one third of the spinach and cook it until it just begins to wilt. Continue adding the spinach one large handful at a time, sautéing just until it begins to wilt before adding more.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve
As I was cooking today, I started thinking about some of my favorite kitchen gadgets……. there are so many cool things out there that make our lives easier when we are in the kitchen.
There are quite a few that come to mind and I could never pick just one, but this one is in the top five…….. the Microplane!! I use it for everything……. it grates cheese, it zests lemons and limes, it grates garlic and nutmeg….and the list goes on!! It is such a timesaver and so easy to clean!!
What is the kitchen gadget you cannot live without?
This post is part of Recipe Monday. To see more great recipes or to post and link your own recipe, head over to Colleen’s blog.