Please Say Cheese Lasagna Recipes
Pasta is so delicious. Created in many different ways, each version reminds everyone around the world how wonderful it is to enjoy the many recipes brought to each country by Italian immigrants and visitors. When you think of the amounts of pasta eaten worldwide, it is very easy to realize that it competes with rice in dispelling world hunger. Centuries have passed since someone discovered how to dry fresh pasta and extend the life of the staple.
Pasta is so much more than long, dry noodles. It can be put into airtight containers for long shelf life, which means it can go camping, sailing or on road trips and be prepared when you make a stop. The different types of shapes have no limit with modern machinery and where culinary artists used to create intricate shapes, today we just have to go down to the grocery or a specialty store to pick up a bag of wheels, shells or stars. Combine them with red or white sauce and a variety of cheese and instantly there is a delicious meal for everyone to enjoy.
It is hard to believe that pasta and tomatoes are recent combinations in recipes. Because tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants, they earned a reputation of poison. Perhaps someone just decided cooking would make tomatoes safe to eat. Less than two centuries have passed since the first written pasta recipe with tomatoes included graced a table, but once the brave group that tried it survived, tomatoes became extremely popular. Basil, garlic, and oregano are three of the most popular seasonings in most Italian dishes and continue to extend the popularity of pasta.
- Sprigs of parsley for garnish
- 16 strips of lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce (close to 1 pound 12 ounces)
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons basil, chopped
- 2 teaspoons oregano, chopped
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 8 button mushrooms, washed, and sliced
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 tomatoes cut into chunks
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Stir the water and spaghetti sauce together into a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion.
- When the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat to low. Stir the sauce every so often to avoid burning and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Move to the side to cool.
- Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. When the noodles are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and lay flat on the cookie sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (rack should be at center position).
- Reserve ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- Take out a large bowl. Combine the remaining mozzarella cheese in the bowl with the parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, seasoning and eggs. Mix well.
- Put between ¼ and ⅓ cup of sauce in a glass 13 x 9 inch baking dish and spread it evenly over the bottom with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula.
- Place 4 lasagna noodles side by side lengthwise on top of the sauce. Let the edges overlap. Spread one-third of the cheese mix on top and put some sauce over that.
- Continue to layer until you reach the last level of noodles. Cover with the remaining sauce and top with the last half-cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Put a foil cover across the top and bake for 45 minutes. Take off the foil and bake until it starts to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and set it on a rack to set for 10 minutes. Cut and serve. Garnish with parsley on the top of each serving.
This is one time that it does not matter how busy everyone. When they become aware that cheesy lasagna is the delicacy that is being served for dinner they will be at the table waiting anxiously and perhaps even offer to help set the table, it is that good. Tomato sauce is plentiful and the delicious mushrooms and onions combine with thick chunky tomatoes in a delicious homemade tomato sauce. Served in a bowl because it is so saucy, an extra-thick layer of lasagna noodles holds it together with cheese to melt between the layers and form a great crust.
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