Lasagna Adaptations

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with lasagna.  

But, damn, it is cute even if it is a little blurry.

Dress worn as a shirt: $2 from consignment store, Maggie necklace: free for hostessing a party, hair totally FREE!! (that’s my favorite part of the picture!)

Mila wore the necklace around all day, and it perfectly matched her outfit.

Anyway, onto something that has something to do with the post title.

I’ve been having great success so far this week with recipes. (Three for three new recipes which I’ll share more about later.)

I made The Pioneer Woman‘s lasagna yesterday for my family to eat last night while I taught my night class. As a result, I didn’t get to eat it until today. (I work from the cookbook which, if you haven’t seen, you really should.)

I adapted the lasagna recipe on the fly and thought I’d share it here as it turned out really well.

First off, I never use cottage cheese (gross!), so I subbed ricotta cheese. I didn’t have sausage, so I only used beef. I didn’t have basil, so I used oregano. I also added some mozzarella.

None of these things are revolutionary.

This next thing WAS revolutionary. At least for me.

Since we can only eat leftover lasagna once, not three times, I made two smaller pans from the recipe rather than one 9×13 and froze one. As a result, I guessed at the number of noodles I’d need.

Midway through, it became clear I was going to be 1-2 noodles short, and I didn’t want to boil two noodles.

So, being the kind of cook that has to deal with adaptations (read forgot to buy ingredients) regularly, I decided to leave off the whole top layer of noodles.

I know. CRAZY!

So, I did this:

  • noodle layer
  • ALL the cheese mixture
  • noodle layer
  • meat/sauce mixture
  • sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

I baked it covered with tinfoil, and it turned out AWESOME with FEWER calories. Additionally, I think the flavors were more pronounced because it wasn’t cheese layer, meat layer, cheese layer which frequently leads to everything tasting like cheese (at least for me).

Each bite was a little bit of cheese and little bit of meat.

Lasagna isn’t one of my favorite meals. I don’t mind it, but I don’t jump for joy over it. But, this lasagna was worth jumping over.

I particularly LOVE how The Pioneer Woman creates a sauce from a giant can of whole tomatoes with the meat. This is MUCH cheaper and MUCH tastier than buying sauce in jars.

So, make the lasagna!



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