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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My First Time

Believe it or not, I have never made lasagna. I need a recipe! I sort of know what to do. But, this is getting complicated. I got the items I needed that I never keep:

cooked lasagna noodles so I don't have to boil them;
a jar of spaghetti sauce that was in the cabinet, right at the use-by date;
ground beef;
a bucket of ricotta cheese;
shredded mozzarella;
grated Parmesan.
Slugmama remind me of an egg

Okay, ricotta and lasagna noodles are the newbies here.

Of course, my 9x13 inch pan is awol. I can only guess it is off cavorting with another lost kitchen item. The 8x8 inch beat up brownie pan and a glass pie plate will have to do.

One of the problems is, I will eat anything called lasagna. frozen lasagna, boil-in-bag lasagna, cheap lasagna.

Another problem is that all the recipes call for making sauce or boiling lasagna or adding basil or, just something I did not count on. Plus, the times and temperatures vary so much in each recipe, In order to fortify myself while I think about this, I made pimento and cheese and ate it all.

Have you ever seen Betty White's Off Their Rockers? It's hilarious. Plus, it just the distraction for me right now so that I don't have to go cook something strange that does not seem to have a recipe for me. Does anyone else have a recipe that calls for the ingredients I have on hand.  I am going to make this in a bit, but if it does not work out, I want a simple recipe that calls for pre-boiled pasta, jar spaghetti, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Temperatures and times vary in all the recipes.  I feel like I am reinventing the wheel!

I love Italian food as long as it only has one meat in it, no hot spices, and something else that I forgot. My 15-minute nap wiped my memory clean.

And, I want brownies, too.

Back to Betty White's Off Their Rockers.

Your turn
Do you like lasagna? Make lasagna? Like Off Their Rockers?


  1. Make sure you add eggs(1 or 2 depending on how much ricotta cheese you are using)and parsley to the ricotta.
    You just layer it all, sauce on bottom(so it doesn't stick), noodles, ricotta, meat, sauce(or combine your meat and sauce and make a meat sauce), then mozzarella then repeat the noodle/ricotta/meat/sauce/mozz. steps.
    Your last layer of noodles should only have sauce and then cheese on top of the ricotta or meat on the final layer.
    Shove in a preheated 350 degree oven, bake for 45 mins. If your top cheese starts getting to brown, cover with foil. It should be bubbly when done.
    Don't try to cut and serve it until it's cooled about 30 mins. otherwise it will all fall apart.
    It's prettier and serves better the second day. 8-)

    1. sluggy,
      Thanks. I had this recipe on the internet that said 1 hr and 20 min. Even though I know that is not right, I don't/didn't know what was right. Yes, I forgot the eggs. I thought putting parsley was only if I were making sauce.

      I will remember to use a big spoon so it won't fall apart too

      If I make this again, I have to find cheaper ricotta or a substitute. Second day? Hmmm, looks like one serving to me. Just kidding. It will be good for breakfast.

      Thanks again.

  2. Linda - brown your meat until done and then add almost all of your jar of sauce - save a quarter of the jar of sauce. add some garlic and parlsey to the sauce/meat mixture if you have it on hand and/or like it. mix your ricotta and 1egg in a bowl and add 1/3 of your mozzarella. also add some of your parmesan. then spoon your quarter jar of sauce into the bottom of your pan, add a layer of noodles and make sure that each of them overlap a bit. then a layer of meat sauce. then you add another layer of noodles followed by your ricotta mix. depending on how deep your pan is - keep making layers or stop and freeze all of the leftovers for another lasagna. for the top layer just do noodles, some more ricotta mix and the rest of your mozzarella and parmesan. i make mine in a covered dish but you can also use foil. slugmama is exactly right about the temp and time - but as i cook mine covered, i take the lid off for the last 15 mins. hope this helps. let me know if you have any additional questions - i will check back.

    your friend,
    (p.s. - for really exceptional lasagna i add a bag of spinach to the ricotta/egg mixture - it's super yummeh with spinach!)

    1. kymber,
      Thanks for the additional information. I don't have parsley, so garlic will have to do. I love raw spinach and actually like cooked spinach in Italian food. However, it kept coming up last time I tried eating cooked spinach and ENJOYING it. I have a bag of spinach that I may try in one corner. one recipe called for a ton of basil.

      I suppose I will get this mastered after the initial dish.

    2. Linda - it's really all a matter of taste and preference once you figure out how you like your lasagna. i put all kinds of crazy herbs in mine when they are in bloom!!! and Janet is correct about the cottage cheese - i have used cottage cheese in lasagna before and it is just as good as ricotta! good luck making your dish, make sure to take a pic and tell us all about it!

      your friend,

    3. kymber,
      Believe me, next time I will use cottage cheese! I will try different herbs. Thanks.

  3. Slugmama and Kymber said it all .....perfectly! The only thing I can add is that I have made lasagna many many times using cottage cheese instead of the ricotta. Cottage cheese is much cheaper!

    I have never used the no cook noodles but you should check the box. It may require a little more liquid in the meat sauce. Of course you can also add any vegetables you choose. A lot of my family are vegetarians so at different times I have added mushrooms, spinach, chard,eggplant, zucchini or even tofu. As you have learned there really aren't any hard fast rules when it comes to lasagna.

    To be perfectly honest the last few years I have been buying a couple of frozen lasagnas at Costco instead of making it from scratch. I'm cutting corners a lot these days!

    A few days ago I read quite a bit of slugmamas blog. What a good writer and interesting person!

    1. Janet,
      Thanks. I love zucchini, so I was wondering if zucchini could sub for the lasagna noodles. Oh, yeah, the more liquid thing I had not thought about.

      Isn't slugmama great?! She is quite the master with Rite Aid and getting all her items free. If you read her oop and what it would have cost, you will be astounded. Those posts would be over 4 months ago because she has had health problems lately.

      I have been reading her blog since it started. We also knew each other from another internet group.

  4. It seems you are in good hands, Linda. These lovely ladies were generous with their advice. Let us know how your lasagna turns out. :-)

    1. Sue,
      I love all the good advice.

  5. You don't have to use the more expensive no-boil lasagna!
    Mine is five layers thick and absolutely delicious!
    I make it the day before and put in the fridge, by the time it is baked, all the goodies have settled and it cuts like a cake. Kymber is so right about the spinach - I usually make a small "spinach lasagna" (without the ground beef and sausage)when I make the regular just for something a little different and colorful. I've even added green peas, too!

    1. Chickenmom,
      Thanks for that tip. This is what I was told to use. The ricotta is much too expensive--$5.95 for 16 oz. I bet I could put greens in the lasagna, too. Next time, I will make it a day ahead.

  6. I used to make veggie lasagna. It was pretty good. I don't really cook anymore. You can buy lasagna noodles that you don't have to boil. At least I think you can.


  7. Janie,
    Yes, you can. That is what I had. My friends were shocked when I was 50 that I still cooked. Now, almost 17 years later, I still want to cook. I thought everybody cooked forever.

    I am going to try this with zucchini. I think it will be delicious.

    Next post will be all about the experience.


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