Packaged Love: Lasagna

Jan 12, 2015 by

Packaged Love: Lasagna

Ok,  I know I said I wanted something unique, but I also have to create meals for myself this week. So, I started with something that I would want in my own freezer.

: Make Ahead

I started with lasagna. Not because I was scared, but because I had all the ingredients on hand, and I knew I could make a batch to freeze for myself as well. Besides, I make a darn-good lasagna.

So here’s my basic plan, although I generally just add in whatever items I have on hand.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound lean ground beef   (This time I used hot Italian sausage instead, YUM)

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce.

1 tablepoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

12 box, uncooked lasagna noodles

8 cups boiling water

1 (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
Steps:

1. The olive oil, garlic and your meat of choice get tossed into a skillet for the meat to brown. I’m not a superstar chef so I play it by ear. I have no idea how long this takes. But if it still looks pink, it’s not done. Mine here needs just a little more time. lasagna-52. While that is browning, if you can multitask you can start on the ricotta filling. Just pour out the contents of the ricotta container into a bowl. Add two beaten eggs, (I never remember to beat mine first so I just mix it all at the same time. Like I said, not a super star chef.) Into the bowl add: salt, pepper, Italian seasonings…. I also added some grated parm cheese. I’m pretty sure that’s not on the ingredient list.

Here's the cheese and egg mixture before I start stirring.

Here’s the cheese and egg mixture before I start stirring.

3. Now, the noodles and the layering. I used regular lasagna noodles this time. The ones that you have to boil in water, drain and then be careful of not breaking. BUT: in the past I have successfully used the ones that you DONT HAVE TO COOK FIRST! and they are amazing. You just follow the directions on the box.

lasagna-3
You can layer as you want. I follow this pattern:
  • Sauce (enough to cover bottom of pan)
  • Noodles
  • Ricotta Mixture
  • Handful of Shredded Mozzarella
  • Noodles
  • Sauce
  • Meat
  • Noodles
  • Sauce
  • Ricotta mixture
  • Noodles
  • Sauce
  • Top with Mozzarella

The best part?

4. Cover and Freeze. The end.

To eat, all you have to do is take it out of the freezer the night before and then pop it in the oven when you want to eat. It takes about 45 minutes in the oven at 350*.  Generally I let it bake, covered in foil for about 40 minutes, then take the foil off for the last ten minutes.

I found these really awesome disposable pans in my local grocery store. They have cardboard lids and are the perfect size for a family of two!

I found these really awesome disposable pans in my local grocery store. They have cardboard lids and are the perfect size for a family of two!

So, I have one of these in the freezer for myself and one ready to head over to my friend’s house when the chaos of this week is over. Blessing this family through their stomachs is the best idea I have ever had.

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