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  1. Thursday, October 20

    Deeeeelicious Lasagna Recipe

    One of the meals that was brought to us recently was a lasagna made by my friend Michele. I think lasagna is a great meal to take to people who have just had a baby. You can cook it in a disposable container, it can easily be made with or without meat depending on the family, and it makes a ton of food. We received a lasagna when we had Cate years ago and ended up wrapping individual servings for the freezer, leaving us with several meals that we could spread out over time. Of course, that’s what I did this time around as well. It’s so helpful!

    And when the lasagna is AWESOME it’s even better. Michele used a recipe from Ina Garten, who we all know will never let you down! If you’re looking for a good lasagna recipe, this is it.

    Deeeeelicious Lasagna Recipe
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1½ pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
    • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
    • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
    • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ pound lasagna noodles
    • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
    • 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus ¼ cup for sprinkling
    • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1½ teaspoons of the salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
    3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
    4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
    5. Ladle ⅓ of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one ⅓ of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

     


  2. Thursday, April 9

    Cannelloni

    Cannelloni is one of my favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant.  Which means I had to figure out a way to make it at home, of course!  I gave it a try this week and it was so so yummy.  Here’s what I did!

    Cannelloni
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
    Cuisine: Italian
    Ingredients
    • FILLING: will fill ~8 cannelloni, maybe up to 10
    • 1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded
    • ¼ C fresh, shredded parmesan cheese
    • 1 C ricotta cheese
    • ½ C shredded mozzarella
    • 1 Egg, beaten
    • 1 garlic clove, minced or use garlic press
    • 1 T chopped fresh basil (maybe a little more than 1 T)
    • ¼ t pepper
    • ½ t salt
    • SAUCE:
    • 1½ C jarred marinara (you could make your own, but this is faster and tasted great)
    • ½ C cream
    • 24 grape tomatoes, smashed up a bit (I pulsed in the blender a few times)
    • ¼ – ½ C shredded asiago cheese
    • SHELLS:
    • Ideally I suppose you make your own pasta, roll it into thin sheets and cut into rectangles. Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen around here….so, I tried two readily-available pastas.
    • Barilla No-Boil Homemade Style (Flat) Lasagna Noodles: These were PERFECT. Boil 3 minutes, CAREFULLY remove from the water (it’s easy to crack them in the middle, so be gentle!). Filling them is a cinch…just lay the rectangle out portrait (you know, tall-wise), lay your filling across the noodle near the end, then roll up! (I had a few cracks when I took them out of the water, but the noodle overlaps itself when you roll it up, so it wasn’t a problem) Pictured RIGHT.
    • Manicotti Shells: I also tried manicotti shells. They didn’t taste quite as good, and they’re harder to stuff. So, I will definitely do the flat, no-boil lasagna noodles from now on. Pictured LEFT.
    Instructions
    1. Mix filling ingredients.
    2. Mix sauce ingredients and warm on the stove (doesn’t need to cook too long or get too hot).
    3. Spray a rectangular casserole dish or metal cake pan with spray oil. Stuff cannelloni (see noodle descriptions above). Place stuffed cannelloni in the pan. Cover with sauce.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Mangia!
    Notes
    Makes approximately 8 cannelloni…Nate and I each ate 2, and the girls had 1 each. Fed our family of 4 with 2 cannelloni left over.

     


  3. Wednesday, January 31

    Chicken Parmesan

    Chicken Parmesan
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Chicken
    Cuisine: Italian
    Instructions
    1. Here’s how I do it… I either pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts or cut them in thin strips. dip in beaten egg. coat in breading… see below. bake in 350 oven until done – they cook quite quickly. top with mozzarella cheese at the end to melt.
    2. Breading: I either use Italian flavored bread crumbs from the grocery store, or I mix together plain bread crumbs with some garlic powder, paprika, parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Mix bread crumbs with fresh parmesan cheese.