Lasagna! It's quick, it's easy, and you can walk the dog (or do the laundry or drop the kids off at soccer or...enjoy a beer with someone you love...or if you are really good, you can do all of these things) while it is baking. And, I'm excited to say, we now sell EVERY ONE of these ingredients at Beer and Skittles. So here's my recipe for:
20-MINUTE PREP AND CLEAN TIME WEEKNIGHT LASAGNA, A LA BEER AND SKITTLES
What you need:
Bag of frozen spinach (YES, of course you could use fresh spinach—if I use fresh, though, I saute it first just barely, so you can drain off a little of the liquid and so it takes up less room in the pan)
6-8 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles (if you don't do gluten, you can use spaghetti squash instead and it is terrific!)
1 can of Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
15oz Ricotta Cheese
1 Tbs. Everything Nice Mediterranean Herbs
1 TBS Olive Mill Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Optional 1# Cooked Ground Beef, Venison, Sausage, whatever you like or have (I actually made this earlier this week with leftover turkey and it was amazing!)
4-8oz Morel & Leek Jack Cheese, grated
1 big casserole dish
Optional: Bottle of Chianti, I suggest the one we have in stock now, La Maia Lina, with a cute little picture of a pig on the bottle.
What you do:
--Set your timer for twenty minutes. If it takes you longer than that to get this into the oven and the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, you're going too slow! Speed it up next time!
--Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
--If using frozen spinach, put spinach in colander and run cold water over it to thaw it a little. Set aside and let it drain. If using fresh, saute very lightly, then put in colander.
--Boil a large pot of salted water, and cook lasagna noodles al dente.
--While water is boiling and noodles are cooking, make the filling: squeeze excess water out of spinach and mix it in a large bowl along with the ricotta cheese, the eggs, the herbs and part of the olive oil. If you like your lasagna with meat, you can add cooked ground beef, venison or sausage at this point, too. You can also add whatever other vegetables you might have on hand and want to get rid of. I've used sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, any other green, carrots, onions, peas, extra tomatoes, pretty much anything is good in lasagna. That way, every lasagna you make is unique, and you can clean out the fridge at the same time.
--Drizzle the rest of the olive oil in the bottom of the casserole dish. Pour ¼ can of San Marzano Tomatoes into the bottom of the pan. Place half the lasagna noodles on top of the tomatoes for a bottom layer. Spread filling evenly over noodles. Place the rest of the noodles on top of filling, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top layer of noodles and spread evenly to cover. Cover casserole dish with a lid, tin foil, or I use my giant Charles Viancin Dahlia casserole cover, which is adorable.
--If you are like me and rinse the dishes before you put them into the dishwasher, rinse the dirty dishes now and put them into the dishwasher. If you don't rinse, then just put them in the dishwasher. If you don't have a dishwasher, this recipe may take you 25 minutes instead of twenty, as you will need a few extra minutes to wash the dishes by hand. By now it should be about twenty minutes, the timer you set at the beginning of this recipe will go off, meaning you're done: it's time to relax or be productive, as the evening requires, while your dinner bakes.
--Put the lasagna in the oven and go about your business for the next 50 minutes or so, while the lasagna turns into dinner and makes your house smell fantastic! If you need a few minutes longer to finish your walk or your talk, or your beer, don't worry—this lasagna is very forgiving and won't suffer for an extra few minutes in the oven.
--Remove the lasagna after about fiftyish minutes or a few more, and immediately sprinkle with the shredded morel and leek cheese. Let it sit for a few minutes, and the cheese on top will become melty and wonderful and the insides will cool down to eating temperature. Pour an optional glass of Chianti (or another beer), and enjoy.